Cannon came home right before Christmas break with a special decorated white paper bag. I recognized the bag. I get one every year from my elementary aged kids and it’s usually some type of ornament. I usually convince the kids to let me wait to open it until Christmas – but Cannon was relentless, he wanted me to open it right now. I pushed him off a couple times but he kept following me around with this bag. I realized there was no way he was going to wait until Christmas, so we sat down together and I opened it.
I found his cute little hand print painted on a glass ornament. Its a classic, I think I have one for every kid. He immediately wanted to put it on the tree, and he quickly left the room. A few minutes later, I could hear him discussing how to hang it. I yelled from the other room, “Cannon, you’re going to need to find a hook to hang it.” A few minutes later, I could still hear him in the other room and he hadn’t found a hook. I told him to hold tight and I would grab a string to hang it from. Minutes later, I walked into the living room ready to hang his ornament and I saw him kneeling on the ground.
What I didn’t see right away were the tears streaming down his face, but I saw him holding a small broom, sweeping up something. As I got down on his level to see what he was doing I saw his broken ornament. He looked at me with tear filled eyes and I could see his broken heart. The gift he was so excited to give and to hang on the tree was broken – he was broken. Sobbing. He couldn’t wait for me to find a hook or to grab some string. He hung his delicate ornament on a few needles from our fake tree. It held for approximately two seconds before tumbling off the tree and smashed against the wood floors.
My mom heart broke. Perhaps if it had been broken two weeks down the road, it would have been an easier loss. But he had just been so excited to give his gift.
Shortly after, I had to go pick up Hallie and after picking her up I had the thought to run to a store and pick up another glass ornament. I ran into Wal-mart and started walking up and down the isles of the holiday section. It was completely picked over. The ornament section was empty. At this point, we were just a week before Christmas and everything seemed to be cleaned out. I kept walking the isles. Not just the ornament isles. Every. Single. Holiday. Isle. And wouldn’t you know it, on some random, empty isle, there was a discarded box of 8 clear glass ornaments. Christmas miracle.
You should’ve seen his face when I walked in the door and showed him the ornaments. Crisis averted. We painted his hand (we actually had enough ornaments that all the kids made one) and drew little snowmen. This is the Christmas magic I wrote about recently. He may soon forget that he broke his ornament – but his look of disappointment is forever etched in my mind – enough so that I made an impromptu trip to the store to show him how important his gift was to me.