Friday, December 23, 2011

Cocoa Connections

At precisely 10 a.m. a small parade approached my house. The woman in the lead carried a large object encased in a white plastic garbage bag. She was followed by three pint-sized humans, two boys and a girl (Max, J.D. and Olivia) and a man holding the hand of the smallest boy, Parker, who is not yet two. The woman and man – Judy and Eldon – run a small daycare center a few houses down the block.

I had invited them.

They came up the walk and into the house simultaneously shedding padded jackets and handing me their personal versions of Christmas cards and singing snatches of “Jingle Bells.” The one girl, Olivia, actually sang the entire song. Judy removed the plastic protection from a humungous poinsettia –an unexpected present. After the initial chaos, when the coats had been piled in the designated area, Max approached me. Quite solemn, he inquired if I indeed had something for all of them. Cocoa to be precise.

I confirmed the treat but pointed out that before a drop could be consumed, I needed them to finish decorating my tree. They were delighted when they saw the array of ornaments and went to work with glee. There were giggles and questions and occasional "oohs and aahs” as the each ornament found a new home – generally on the bottom half of the tree.

Wandering from wonder to wonder, they discovered Herbie, the world’s friendliest cat, and each gave him a pat, marveling at his softness.

Then Max approached me again. “Is it time yet?”

“Yes,” I responded and directed them to sit around the table where plates and napkins and a plate of cookies awaited. I delivered mugs of cocoa, one by one, to deeply appreciative recipients. They laughed when Herbie sat in my chair but agreed that it would not be good to give him any hot chocolate.

Eventually beverages consumed and cookies devoured, they wandered back to the living room. A Christmas CD was playing and Parker started sort of dancing then J.D. joined in with impressive gyrations.

It was time to leave. Only slightly prompted, the kids said thank you then – spontaneously—wove themselves around me in a group hug.

It was about 11:15 when they left, a parade in the opposite direction as I waved from my front door.

Who needs more Christmas than this?

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! I'm sure the members of "the parade" will remember the opportunity to "help a neighbor" plus the special reward of the hot cocoa and cookies for quite sometime. Your thoughtfulness in inviting them was a wonderful way to think outside our normal holiday traditions and makes me sit back and think of what I can do for someone else next year.