Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Spirit of Christmas

She is English, in her 80’s and living alone in her apartment. She has lived in Jordan for many years. She reminds me of those English characters of a bygone era that we read about in books that were hard working, loyal, forthright, determined and with that ‘stiff upper lip’ when things were down. These days she often says to me, ‘I just don’t have the energy I once had’ and then laughs and says, ‘but I have to keep going.’ So in the late afternoon and evening when she is watching her sports channel on TV she keeps knitting. The yarn she has brought back with her from England whenever she manages to visit. She knits and she knits and she knits……..big sweaters, small sweaters, baby sweaters, colorful sweaters, plain sweaters, fancy sweaters….you name it, she knits it. Each is beautifully done, carefully finished off and then ironed.

Every year once, if not twice, she calls me up and says, ‘I have another batch of sweaters for you’. So I drive over and pick them up……two huge black bags filled with sweaters. These are then distributed to children in areas outside Amman. The mothers are thrilled with the sweaters and appreciate the handiwork. The children of course, are happy to be warm. The women have often asked me to bring this generous lady to meet them. They would like to make a ‘mansuf’ for her, but so far it just hasn’t worked out. ‘Never mind’, she says, ‘just take some pictures.’

Yesterday she called again and gave me another batch to distribute. As I lifted the bags to go I laughed and said, ‘These bags make me feel like Santa Claus!’ We both laughed again but as I was leaving I thought to myself, this lady is what the spirit of Christmas is all about!.................z


Anonymous kinzi said...

I love this!! Does this precious helper of Santa need some holiday encouragement herself?

What a gift that you get to be the bearer of these warm, handmade gifts.

Thursday, December 06, 2007  

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