On Your Own Front Door….

With but a few weeks before Christmas I was about to begin revving up our Honeychurch holiday cheer. I have lists ready to go of little things to enhance our little house for its first Christmas with us in attendance. Without a doubt the house already feels very Christmassy. The scent of a little cinnamon is hugging the notes of the Christmas songs as they spin on the record player, the soft crackle of scratches in the vinyl gives hints of a cozy fireplace in the corner. Just close your eyes and breathe deep and you don’t need any decorations to make it feel like Christmas. It’s already here.

Now, we just don’t have the funds for a tree. I didn’t realize how sickeningly expensive a real one was, let alone a silly fake one. But, I’d rather have the fake one so I can pull it out and put it up every year and reminisce about our very first beautiful year here. With a tree not in the cards, I thought we’d at least get a wreath! I went to Big Lots and the only one they had was just…ugly. (It’s Christmas, I’m trying to be nice…..)

Then I remembered that for some reason there was a plastic green wreath of fake succulent leaves in the shed left by the last tenants. Ok. I can work with that. We can doll it up, put it on the front door! Easy. I find it, reach for it and head back to the house. “Funny,” I said to myself. “I don’t remember there being any holly berries. Even better.” That’s when one of the holly berries moved.

I shrieked an, “EEEK!” and tossed the wreath while leaping back to find hundreds, hundreds, of these little red bugs all over the wreath.

Damn. (well, now we know why they left it behind….)

Now, it wasn’t going to ruin Christmas if we didn’t have a tree, or a wreath, or even garland. No, we’re clever men, we can get crafty, we’d figure something out. I was just a little disappointed because I had this wild desire to spruce up my own little house in a festive way that would make Christmas proud. I wanted Christmas tell me when it finally arrived, “Thanks for the welcoming! You did good, kid.”

But, later that night, Phillip and I were watching television when I received an email from a friend. “Go look on your front porch.”

Oh, the curiosity was undeniable! Pulling open the door I plopped onto the front porch into absolute darkness. I fumbled through my pajama pockets until I finally whipped out my phone to use for a flashlight…..

Oh, my. It was big, it was plump, it was fragrant. It was….alive. My friend had delivered to me a living wreath she had made herself, complete with everything I needed to keep it as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. Merry Christmas! She knew nothing about my desire for at least a wreath. Nothing at all. I had said nothing about it to anyone.

It was gorgeous! I hesitated at first to put it outside! I wanted to keep it in my work space so I could see it all the time and have that lovely aroma of bay leaf just waft…..

But, no. I put it prominently, joyously, on our front door, heralding to anyone who may glance at it in passing that these two men at Honeychurch appreciate why this little wreath means so much to them. Because this year, for us at least, Christmas is about home.

Staring back, taking a picture, I just smiled with such a buzz of beauty. Because it does remind me so much of that lyric from “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”

“The prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door!”

Even though I didn’t find the perfect wreath at Big Lots (thank you, God), I did find the perfect Christmas card. It may be an old image to some, and many of you might have already seen it in years past, but after sifting and sifting through batches of cards I saw this one and said, “…..yeah. Yes, THAT looks like Gregory and Phillip. That feels like Gregory and Phillip in that truck.”

I really appreciate this card. I may have to get a little frame and keep one of them. I love the way it looks.

The two of us headed home to our own front door….

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  1. Years ago when my husband and I were first married we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree either. One morning I got up and there in the living room was a small tree. Albeit looking a worse for wear with broken branches and sitting quite a bit askew. I asked my husband where it came from. The night previous we had had a huge storm and he said when he stepped outside to get the paper there it was on our front porch. Seems it must have blown in from where we never did figure out. He said God provided it. I loved that little tree so very much. Enjoy your wreath. And a very Merry Christmas to you and Phillip.

  2. Wow! No, I had no idea of that backstory! I am so glad that you got that “special delivery!” The red berries in that American holly will definitely not move — fall off eventually, yes, but “move” absolutely not!

  3. Dear Gregory and Phillip, hope you are very fine.

    It was such a pleasure to find your lovely card today, thank you so much, for thinking at me and for the sweet words. I feel honored to count you as Friends, you teach me to never give up, to fight for your dreams, to smile at life, and we all know how much we all need these models.

    I wish you all your dreams become true, that HoneyChurch will be yours and that everybody in the world will have at least one of your books at home.

    I will spend the entire holiday time at home in the Netherlands, too problematic to go back to Italy right now, maybe we can have a video chat one of the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve ?

    Big, big hugs and thank you


  4. Lovely memory made this Christmas. I’m so glad you were gifted with a lush, beautiful wreath. It reminded me of our first Christmas. We hadn’t been married long and we bought a scotch pine tree. The only ornaments we had were the ones I’d made growing up and a few my mother gave us. No lights or any other decorations, but we loved that Christmas.

    Merry Christmas to you & Phillp

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