Sarah switched on the Christmas tree lights. The tree stood in its usual place in the corner where it had stood for the last thirty years. The nativity scene sat on the end table by the new couch. Well, sort of new. She’d replaced the twenty-five- year-old one five years ago.
It was a comfortable room like most of the rooms in the house she and Tom had raised their two children. Every Christmas had been family time. Even when Carol and Steve had left for college and moved out, they always made it back for Christmas. Two years ago, Tom had died. It had been difficult that year, but Steve, and Carol and her family had come home. This year there would be no family. A sigh slipped out.
Familiar Christmas songs played softly in the background. There had never been a Christmas quite like this one. Covid wasn’t family friendly. No Christmas Eve at church, although she had watched it on the computer. No family get togethers, and for many people no food.
She’d had a bad spell a week ago after talking with Carol. She felt sorry for herself. She’d be alone. No sense putting up the tree or decorating. No family for dinner. She hadn’t even planned to cook a dinner. Why bother?
Then she shook it off. Carol and Steve were worried about her. First that she was a high risk for Covid, and second that being alone for Christmas she’d be depressed. She didn’t want them to worry about her and ruin their own Christmas. There were so many people worse off. People who couldn’t pay rent or their mortgage and might lose their homes. Others who couldn’t buy food. And those who had family members who were ill.
No, she would not wallow in pity. She’d dragged out the tree and decorations. She’d baked dozens of cookies and tarts, boxed them and sent them to Carol and Steve. She’d sent dozens off to The Mustard Seed and the food bank. She’d order everything for a big dinner. A turkey was in the oven and dinner with all the trimmings would be ready soon. The wonderful smell of Christmas filled the house. Small, divided boxes lined the counter ready for the turkey dinners.
It had been a busy week. It felt good. Sarah sang along with ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ as she pulled the turkey out of the oven and made gravy while it cooled and then mashed potatoes. She sliced the turkey, packed the boxes, added the Brussels, and filled a small plate for herself.
The taxi arrived.
“I’m so glad you can do this. Here’s a list of the addresses.” She gave him the piece of paper. Sarah had contacted a couple of agencies to get the list, mostly single mothers, and the elderly. “I typed it so you wouldn’t have trouble reading it.”
The driver took the list and scanned it.
Sarah brought the large bags with the dinners from the kitchen and handed them to the driver.
“How much do I owe to deliver all these?” Sarah opened her purse.
“You made dinner for all these people?” he asked.
Sarah nodded. “So many people need help these days. This isn’t much but hopefully it will bring a little Christmas to a few people.”
“Lady, if you can do all that, I can deliver them. No charge.”
“Really. Merry Christmas. I’ll see if I can get them delivered before they all get too cold.” He hurried back to the taxi and drove off.
“Merry Christmas and thank you.” Sarah called after him. She smiled.
Back in the kitchen Sarah got her plate of food. She gave it a quick zap in the microwave. She smiled. She’d be eating alone but it didn’t feel so bad. The smile lasted and she hoped that some people would enjoy a special turkey dinner. She was one of the lucky people with a home, food and her health. There would be next year for the family Christmas. And she wouldn’t eat alone. There was Zoom with Carol, Josh, and the grand kids.
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