Our Christmas Village is all up now and I didn't even have to do it! Robert and Steven took over this year and they did a terrific job! I just added a few extras. It was so nice to let them take over because it is a lot of work. (I'm sure I'll have to take it all down and put it away in the boxes as usual in a couple of months!) It's always so fun to have up. When I went up to see it for the first time, there were a few new pieces that I hadn't seen before. Robert just can't stop buying them off of Ebay! I keep telling him we have plenty now, but he doesn't stop. I love the Christmas villages so much. It reminds me of a Christmas many years ago.When I was a senior at Olympus High, one of my seminary teachers challenged us to do something nice for someone that Christmas season-- preferably something anonymous because it is more fun that way. I had been working at ZCMI in the Cottonwood Mall as Christmas help in gift wrapping so I had a fair amount of money to spend on my family with some left over. I decided to buy several little gifts like lotion, cologne, bubble bath and chocolates and take a gift each night during the week before Christmas. I chose to take them to an older widow who lived alone in a house around the corner and down the street about four houses from me. I knew her name and where she lived, but had never met her before.
The first night that I went, I waited until after dark, but I felt perfectly safe in my own neighborhood. And the fact that I was on a "secret mission" made the trip very exciting. I remember so well walking down the street looking at the Christmas lights decorating my neighbors' homes and the lighted windows and the stars shining in the clear sky. It seemed so magical to me and I think that is why I love our lighted Christmas village so much.
I arrived at Carrie's house and started walking down her long driveway. Her lights were on so I was pretty sure she was home. I set the first little wrapped gift down on the step in front of her door which was on the side of the house, rang the doorbell and knocked hard a few times just in case the the doorbell didn't work. Then I ran as fast as I could back up the driveway and hid behind the bushes, breathing hard and peeking to watch for her to open the door. It took a minute or so for her to open the door and call out "hello?" She then looked down, saw the package, picked it up, looked out again, and then shut the door. With a big smile on my face, I walked back up the street and around the corner to my house. I had such a good feeling inside and decided this "anonymous giving" was very fun.
The next couple of nights, I repeated this, sneaking out of my house each time. I waited until no one was around the front door, put on my coat, and went quietly out. And each time she came to the door a little faster, so I had to run faster!
Then the next night, with snow flakes lazily falling down, I put the gift on the doorstep, rang the bell and knocked, then ran up the driveway. But when I was only about half the way to my hiding place I heard the door opening behind me and a little voice calling out "who are you?" a couple of times. I had been caught! I kept running, though, and turned behind the bushes, but then I felt like I needed to go back and talk to her. So I walked down the driveway back to her door. I told her my name, where I lived, and told her that I thought she knew my grandmother who also lived in the neighborhood. She was very nice and invited me to come in and sit down, which I did. We talked for a few minutes-- about what I really don't remember. She thanked me for the gifts and gave me some candy. I wished her a "Merry Christmas" and walked back home, again with a smile on my face.
I found out that Christmas how fun it is to give, especially anonymously, but I was also glad to be able to meet Carrie and talk with her, too. Then she didn't have to keep wondering who her secret gift-giver was.
Looking at our Christmas Village now brings back memories of that Christmas which really stands out in my memory because it was so magical to me.