…a friend came to see me.  Tonight, actually, as I was labeling my Christmas cards.  She had a little time between a meeting and picking up her kids, so she just stopped by to chat for a few.  She only stayed half an hour, but it was so much fun, sitting and laughing about nothing while we both took a break from the grind of the day.

Why don’t we women “stop by” and see each other anymore?  Our grandmothers did it.  Our mothers did it.  (Mine still does.)  I never do.  Never.  Really, as much as I claim to be a good and loyal faithful, if I want to see friends, it has to be on the calendar.  That’s pathetic.  How about you?  Are you a stopper-byer?

Tonight after my friend left, I realized something a little funny and a little embarrassing:  having her stop by actually made me feel younger.  Seriously!  Before you laugh, I want you to think back to high school, when you had zero responsibilities and friends came and went from your house like the removable bands on your Swatch watch.  When a girlfriend stopped by back then, you didn’t think, “Shoot, I really like her but it is after seven…”  No!  You wanted to hear the scoop and show off your cute new socks.  Wasn’t it fun back then, having girlfriends–and not just Enrichment Activities?  Don’t you miss it?

Every December, I try to dream up some massive service project that will teach my children the true meaning of Christmas.  Every December, I fail.  Sure, we give where we can, but I have yet to launch anything that is Ensign-worthy.  And then I feel bad.  (Especially when I read the Ensign.)  (And did you know there are parents, somewhere out there in the world, who wake their children up at 5 am every day to read the scriptures for an hour?  An hour.  Five to six o’clock.  a.m.  Have mercy, Ensign.)

This year, I’m ditching the self-righteous dream of The Perfect Christmas Service Project.  This year, I’m just gonna “stop by” and let the people I love know that I love them.  Warm Christmas fuzzies aren’t just about helping the anonymous needy, they’re about appreciating the people we see every day.  Sometimes I forget that my friends and family need some cheering up, too, and that we all need a little attention now and then.  And often I forget that the best Christmas fuzzies are usually simple, and spontaneous, and surprisingly close to home.

Which is where I’ll be, should you choose (oh pretty pretty please) to stop by.


4 thoughts on “On the third day of Christmas…

  1. Oh anxiety. No one ever stops by when my house is clean. I need to get it together because people keep dropping off goodies, and I lose the joy of the moment because I immediately start worrying about the state of my living room.

  2. Jennifer! Publish your essays! You really must. you are so talented!
    Also, how do you calculate your days of Christmas? I’m confused.

    1. @Emily, it’s the 15th and there’s ten days to go until Christmas. Shoot–am I doing it wrong? And thanks for the compliment, but I’ll publish something when you do! I lovelovelove your writing.

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