Last night, we celebrated Christmas dinner at my step-mom’s house. It was a nice, intimate meal with just a few immediate family members.
One way I contribute to the meal each year is by making homemade gravy. My step-mom texted me to bring some flour over since she didn’t have any, yet somehow I missed the text. We agreed that a turkey with gravy was much better than a turkey without, but the chances of anything being open on Christmas day were slim to none.
I set out in the snow on my “flour adventure” hoping for the best.
I drove by three grocery stores and everything was closed. I tried calling some stores too. I had remembered a White Hen in the area, and went to find it, all to realize it had been torn down and replaced by new condos.
How did I miss that?!
Then I started texting people I knew who were cooking that day who might be able to assist with my flour needs. Nobody answered. They were busy enjoying appetizers and drinks with their loved ones rather than checking their phone.
This snow is getting heavy!
I remembered that my step-mom had suggested a quick mart close to her home, so I made my way there, and thankfully they were open. As I pulled up, the guy behind the counter was about to close the doors.
“It’s been so slow,” he said. “I want to get home to my family.”
I told him about my silly flour drama and we had a laugh. We chatted as I paid for my goods. I smiled as I thought of taking the turkey drippings and blending them into the flour, creating just the right texture for my gravy…
As I was getting ready to leave, I saw a very sad man walk into the quick mart. I watched as he went to the cooler — his face tired and lonely. As he went to pay for his drink, he grabbed a large bag of Dorito’s.
That was his dinner. Diet Pepsi and Dorito’s.
I’ve been alone on Christmas and I’ve been sad on Christmas. But even during those low moments, I’ve always been invited somewhere for a nice Christmas meal.
To think, I was worried about whether or not I would be able to make gravy to slather over our large turkey filled with stuffing while this man will be feasting on MSG and fizzy chemicals.
Your problems tonight are “Princess problems”, Jen.
I got into my car and wondered how many other people were having crappy Christmas dinners. Then I started to pray.
Please God, help that man feel the love of the Universe. Help all those people who are sad and hungry and malnourished on this blessed day. May they feel love and feel whole and feel full with your love. May they know they are loved by something bigger. Give them hope and help.
If you have air in your lungs, food on your table and love in your heart, you have all you need.
And if you’re blessed with more, pray for those with less.
Because that is the spirit of Christmas.