April Jeppson: Much to be thankful for even without snow

Published 8:45 pm Thursday, December 23, 2021

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

April Jeppson

Actually I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to have snow, but it’s not a deal breaker. With a tiny meteorologist in all of our pockets, we know what the forecast is going to be for days in advance. I’ve known for a week that we wouldn’t have snow. So for as big of an optimist as I am, I also don’t like to needlessly get my hopes up just to have them dashed into the dead brown grass. However, I do believe in miracles, so Jimmy Stewart could show up on Christmas Eve and the flakes could start to fall. It is possible.

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Traditionally I spend the entirety of the holiday indoors, so I don’t even know what it looks like outside. Unlike many of my friends, I do not travel during the holidays.

For years, my husband and I had jobs that only gave us Christmas Day off and possibly an early out on Christmas Eve if we were lucky. So when you have less than 48 hours to relax, celebrate, cook, eat, party and play a board game with your kids — I’d rather not be trapped in a car. Especially since the weather this time of year is so unpredictable. Remember how I don’t like to get my hopes up? Looking forward to seeing my folks for Christmas, only to realize the day before that the snow will be too bad to drive in — and then having to tell my children the news? No, that’s too much. So we’ve always just stayed home for Christmas, and if anyone wants to come here and join us, they are more than welcome to.

A few years ago I received a skateboard as a gift. I can’t remember if it was the day of, or the day after, but the temperature was so nice out that I was able to try out my new toy with only a hoodie on. My kids were outside with me on their bikes and scooters, and it was a lot of fun. There was still snow on the ground, but the driveway and streets were clear and we were able to get our wiggles out.

As I ponder the presents that my children will be getting this year, they are all indoor items. Bracelet making kit, doll house, computer, crafts and clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. I am that mom that stops buying useful things in the fall and just saves it for Christmas. Need more socks? Christmas. Run out of pony tail holders? Christmas. Out of toothpaste? Christmas. I’m not really that bad, but pretty darn close.

It wasn’t that long ago that my children’s gifts were toiletries. Our budget was so tight that each child was gifted their own shampoo from the dollar store. Fun fact, a bottle of shampoo fills up a lot of space in a stocking for only a buck. My kids were genuinely excited to each have their own bottle. I remember them comparing which flavor they got. “Mine smells like strawberries!” At the time I was relieved that they didn’t call me out on the chintzy gift. Looking back, I’m almost brought to tears. Like I previously mentioned, one of my kids is getting a computer this year. It’s a simple laptop for my teenage son. He doesn’t have a cell phone or a fancy video game system. He’s a good kid, and I’m so excited for Christmas morning to see his eyes light up.

So although we won’t have a white Christmas this year, this is still a lot to be thankful for. May your days be merry and bright.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.