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One Priceless Gift

Reflecting on past events is an essential part of the Christmas season. Along with contemplating the birth of Jesus, I appreciate the opportunity to remember family celebrations, memorable opportunities and gifts.

One priceless gift, given by my teenage sons to my husband, still fills my heart with motherly gratitude. And although this scene has probably been played out many times in family farms across the country, the reality of it in our life will never be forgotten. Thus I share our story of the most memorable Christmas gift in the words of my husband.

Some years ago, my teenage sons secretly planned a Christmas surprise for me. After a late Christmas Eve party followed by Santa preparations, I dropped into bed, realizing I had to get up in five hours to milk the cows on Christmas morning.

Rising at 5:00 a.m., sleepy eyed and dreading having to go out in the cold, dark morning, I trudged upstairs to wake my sons, only to find their beds empty. I searched for them throughout the house but couldn’t find them. What could they be up to?

After donning my chore clothes, I walked down the farm lane toward the milking parlor. Lights blazed from the windows and a few cows were lined up in the holding pen. When I entered the parlor it was clear that Santa’s elves had sacrificed sleep to give me the most memorable Christmas gift I have ever received. The chores were almost done. Now, for the first time, I would be able to spend Christmas morning at home and watch the excited faces of my younger children as they discovered Santa had filled their wish list.

We finished the chores and then walked back to the house together along the quiet, moonlit lane. It was another cold Christmas morning like so many in the past, but something had changed; my sons stood a little taller that day in their eyes and in mine.

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