The doorbell rang.
I shook the raw chicken off my hands and went to see. “Not the neighbor kid. Not right now,” went through my head. I like him, but during the witching hour, extra kids are not appreciated.
Surprisingly, it was the UPS guy on that dark and windy night. Aren’t they all in November? In his arms was a medium sized box addressed to our kids. Their names were clearly printed right on the label. This mystery box had landed on our doorstep in the midst of hungry and cranky, when the food in the fridge for dinner wasn’t cooking itself and the super-dad hasn’t appeared yet with some extra energy to share.
The household mood immediately lifted 8 degrees. Screams of, “Can we open it? Can we open it?” echoed off every wall.
“No running with scissors!” the kids yelled at me in my own excitement. Whatever treasure was in this box was going to save our evening.
And treasure straight from Indiana it was! Inside this box were 30 individually wrapped Thanksgiving table decorations. Passing them out individually and un-wrapping them took at least 12 minutes. Great Aunt Susan, Great Uncle Don and Cousin Kacy are our heroes.
Ceramic bunnies holding baskets of pumpkins and corn, turkeys with colorful tail feathers, squirrels eating fall apples, pilgrims in their square shoes, scarecrows and wagons of hay quickly filled our table with Thanksgiving love.
And once the unwrapping was complete, the play began, each in their own way. My 7 year old daughter lined up hers and had them all singing, “It’s a Grand Old Flag.” My 5 year old son arranged his in a Star Wars like battle. Cornucopias are shaped somewhat like light sabers, right? My 3 year old son organized his Thanksgiving creatures by height, took them on a hike around the kitchen table and then tiptoed away with them. When I found him, he was in the bathroom his new friends aligned on the counter talking to them while he while he took care of business.
Did I mention there were exactly 30 bags to open? 30 is perfectly divisible by 3. Even using that fandangled new math! Three kids @ ten bags each = no fighting. Did I mention Great Aunt Susan, Great Uncle Don and Cousin Kacy are our heroes?
And at the bottom of the box was a wonderful Thanksgiving letter that said, “Happy Thanksgiving – Enclosed are Thanksgiving items that we used for our dining room table decorations for our Thanksgiving meal. After dinner we would have a pageant using all the figurines. We hope that you will enjoy them every year on Thanksgiving Day and start your own pageant tradition.”
Oh we will! And on that cold and windy November day, I was so thankful for the thoughtfulness of our relatives four states away.