What makes a memorable Christmas? It’s never about how much money you spend, or what you had for dinner, or where you spent the holiday. Often it’s the little intangible things that are made even more special when they come from strangers. I came across this account of an event that made a lasting impression on a friend, and I thought I would share it. Thank you, Pat, for allowing me to repost your story!
“In the mid 1970’s we bought a 200-year -old farmhouse in Acton, Maine, five miles in on a ten-mile uninhabited dirt road. After extensive work, but nowhere near finished, we moved in a week prior to Thanksgiving. Continuing to “improve” our house, we added indoor plumbing, a working kitchen, repointed the four fireplaces, sanded and refinished the original 200-year-old wide pine floors and walls (!), and were actually ready enough to invite out-of-town family for Christmas.
Shortly after dinner on Christmas Eve, on a beautiful, typically snowy, wintry New England night, (remember, we are in the middle of nowhere), we hear caroling and bells. We go to the side door and see, approaching our house, a family of six, who arrived by horse and buggy and were singing their hearts out on our side steps. We invited them in, made some cocoa, shared cookies (that they had baked and brought), and chatted a bit. The family lived down the road about six miles, and had heard that we were new neighbors. The Mom was “in remission” after breast cancer surgery/treatment, and was determined to go out and sing to the neighbors (especially us new ones). The children (as I remember them) ranged in age from 5-ish to 12-ish. After a short visit, they sang another beautiful carol, left, and proceeded to trot down the road in their exquisite horse and buggy.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the living room after they left. I kept shaking my head, and saying “Oh, my God, I can’t believe that just happened.” Our visiting family, from urban and suburban areas, were equally as touched and speechless.
We were the only house on that road for ten miles! They came, just for us! Every time I think of that night, it reminds me of what embodies the spirit of Maine ~ and, I suppose, at least at that time, the spirit of real country. That intense moment never happened again. I’ve had many wonderful Christmases since, but that was one that left an imprint on my heart like no other.”