Home for the Holidays: The Unexpected Gift

An unexpected gift may be a much needed surprise!
An unexpected gift may be a much needed surprise! | Source

The Unexpected Gift


The Unexpected Gift is a little story that grew out of an opportunity to enter a writing contest in which entries were supposed to be read in about 3 minutes. It is part of a group of stories that continue to evolve. Thanks for stopping by to read this one!


The unexpected gifts are often the most precious!
The unexpected gifts are often the most precious! | Source

The Gift of a Lifetime ✧


Gray light filtered through the dim bedroom into her eyes.

“What ‘cha doing, Adam?”

“Lookin’ out the window.”

“Well, I see that, but, it’s cold without you beside me. What ‘cha lookin’ at?”

“It snowed.”

“We were expectin’ it,” she said flatly, tucking the familiar handmade covers closer around her neck. “I’m just glad the kids got here safe and sound beforehand.”

“It snowed a lot, Angie--a lot.”

Even though he tried to sound somber, his big voice smiled when he heard her freeze in the bed as she realized what it meant.

He tried to hold on to his charade with, “We’re gonna be down for a few days.”

Turning, he knew he would see her face light up in the early morning shadows. Warming at the sight of her springing from the thick blankets Adam couldn't help but grin big before he wrapped his warm arms around his shivery wife.

Next thing he knew she was trying to wiggle around with a chilly "Brrrr" exclaiming “Let me see it!"

Merry Christmastide
Merry Christmastide | Source

Laughing, he turned her small frame as she scrambled around in his arms to whisk the lacy white curtain aside. Watching her excitement made all the health issues melt into the background.

Her words came like a spring rain shower. “Oh, oh, oh! I’m so thankful! They’re here and we’re socked in together! No one will be droppin' in on us! Just hear that deep quiet!”

Adam told her how he had been listening to the children breathe as they slept, that he could tell where each one had landed in the night by the sound of their sleep. A snow-bound house full of children and grandchildren was just what he and Angie needed to give them the merry Christmas of their dreams.

In a flash their clothes were changed and both were racing to be the first to make coffee. It was always a game for them, each wanting the distinction of brewing the first pot of the day, but having the kids home upped the ante.

Already in a playful mood, the grandparents made a clattering, noisy breakfast as they wondered if it would be a toddler or a dad who would make their way to the big kitchen first. Laughing and talking as loud as they could, their impatience told on their desire.

The very best Christmas gifts are not wrapped to go under the tree.
The very best Christmas gifts are not wrapped to go under the tree. | Source

They also wanted to get some food ready before everyone else got up since the older grands would be hurrying out to see their pets in the barn. A new litter of mouse-catchers was waiting on them, and the horses were already expecting a walk in the clear morning sun after that night’s unexpected blizzard.

Beside themselves with joy, Adam and Angie intended to make the most of this alone time with their children. They knew that when the weather cleared others would be stopping by, lingering to enjoy visits.

The time would fly by fast, but they meant to relish every minute of this unexpected gift. Hungry babies would need feeding soon, but then things would settle down for a while and they would have priceless time together.

Their grown children would sit with them at the bay window in the kitchen drinking coffee, reminiscing, and catching up. They could talk about any and every thing they wanted to talk about. Later on they would discuss everything they needed to talk about.

Watching out for happy toys scattered on the floor, Angie spent time between her kitchen and family room that opened to thier wide white and green porch. The little ones couldn’t be out in the cold for too long at a time, but they loved running out every few minutes and then back in to snuggle in someone’s lap or cuddle up to the fireplace by Maisy, the dog with sense enough to stay in doors.

Lunch was a breeze what with everyone eating sandwiches as they felt like it. Suppertime was planned for the dining room. The table had been set since Tuesday and tiny candles at every plate were waiting to be lit. The ham with all its expected sides was in the making. Lots of willing hands would put last minute recipes together fast.

Christmas Star
Christmas Star | Source

With big kids in and out for lunch, full of teasing and laughter, then all gone again, and little ones down for a nap--tiny Abigail slept in her portable crib in the pantry and the rest piled on the floor pillows by the tree, lights twinkling above them--Angie settled down to rest among the grownups.

The big Christmas meal will come soon enough, she thought, deciding not to think about everything that needed doing in order to be ready for a big crowd to eat together. Next Saturday would be busy with cooking and visiting with all the other relatives as well as a pile of old friends.

But, now, thanks to Providence’s gracious gift of the blizzard–the gift of a lifetime–she prayed with a grateful heart, "Thank You that we have the kids during this storm." Though she faced an uncertain future, she had assurance that all the needed grace would come from on high.

Adam watched his wife's happy face throughout the afternoon, thankful for the joy they shared. Their children watched their father's face, noting the deepening lines around his eyes, each wondering how many more chances like this there would be, each resolving to spend more time together.

In the afternoon, when they both moved to refresh the coffee maker, Adam quietly eased near to his wife to speak her name softly, "Angie."

"What is it Adam?" she asked with wide eyes.

His smile might have said it all, "Could there've been a better gift than a blizzard?"


This unexpected gift came wrapped in snow!
This unexpected gift came wrapped in snow! | Source

A Simple, Classic Silent Night With Country Snow Scenes For You To Enjoy:

Check out the other story titles from this Home for the Holidays series in the links below:

This group of simple little stories grew out of a contest idea. You might like to make a cup of tea and check out the others in the batch:


Fostering Care -- Home for the Holidays, Number 8

On Christmas Day our gifts were nice, yet, that day I realized that no present on earth could ever equal what being accepted as one of their family members meant to me.

Perfect Traditions --Home for the Holidays, Number 7

Mom’s delight is to have her big get-together on New Year’s Day. She loves it that the whole clan has that to look forward to after Christmas has come and gone.

Christmas Fudge -- Home for the Holidays, Number 6

There’s a small river between the woods and the main field that I want to get reacquainted with. He and I are old friends, and I need to hear his voice again.

The Favor -- Home for the Holidays, Number 5

Son, there's something special about family. You can’t buy it, and you can’t replace it if you throw it away. Do you understand?

A Holiday Respite -- Home for the Holidays, Number 4

I’ll close my eyes in the safest place on earth, and open them again to familiar sights in the morning's light. Everything on this side of the world will be behind me--for a little while.

Grandpa's House -- Home for the Holidays, Number 2

Then he’ll settle you around his tree by the fireplace. The gifts will be spilling out everywhere, but he won’t say a word about them.

A Change of Plans -- Home for the Holidays, Number 1

They'll promise not to let so much time go by before they see each other again, knowing all the while how impractical it is to bother to say it.


Christmas at the Mall:

Mountain Christmas Music

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✧ What is your favorite family activity during holiday visits? 12 comments

The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 3 years ago

Lovely story it took me back some five years ago or more actually the last Christmas we had at my parents home before the passing of my dad four years ago. Your descriptions took me back to that very day and time as we all sat around for a few special days just sipping coffee, watching football,sharing memories. Thank you for taking me back. Five kids and mom and 12 grand babies and two great grands all together one last time. I miss him so, but I will see him again and that is so awesome:)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey Author

The Stages Of ME:

I'm so glad that this little story brought back lovely memories of your time together! Thank you for letting me know!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

What a lovely short story! The lesson is a nice one...the importance of spending time as a family...and your writing is very vivid and appealing. Thanks!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey Author

vespawoolf:

Thanks so much for your generous comment. This sort of creative writing is a fun and satisfying exercise and your note is encouraging!


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 22 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Hi great story it brought back many memories of being snowed in and loving that my cousins shared in my joy. Thanks.


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    RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni1,398 Followers
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    Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing, or in more typical art forms, artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.



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