Schatzy and I prepared for our guests while Oma and Opa cooked... wondering if the strangers we had invited would even show up, wondering what they would be like, wondering all about them. We knew their names, we knew he was from Turkey and had referred to himself as an orthodox Christian (which led to a discussion on whether he would even eat the pork schnitzel). It was a moment of both excitement at the arrival of the guests and the nervousness of the whole notion of an instinctual invitation of a couple we had met at the Christmas Eve service. We talked about how we liked the notion of inviting a stranger to dinner and wondered if we would ever get a chance to do so again.
They arrived right on time, and they were immediately engaging. They were such a gift to our Christmas day dinner, it was so very special for us to have them there with us. And it was a series of events that even put them in that place. They had been touring California but the storms there were such that they came to Arizona seeking drier skies. They had chosen to walk around downtown and chanced upon the church we were planning to attend, they were early and were invited to return and they did. The pastor introduced himself to them, but found out they spoke German so brought them to my husband and introduced them. I was sitting far away from them, on the other end of the pew but watched them with interest and my mother leaned over and told me we should invite them to dinner... so I sent Schatzy a text telling him to do that. He seemed surprised; more at the notion and not that I had sent him a note to do that. After the service I got to meet them and was happy to see that Schatzy had indeed invited them to dinner.
The day was so very special, that kind of special you can feel in you heart. We made new friends.
When they left, one of them turned to me and said; "You always meet good people in church". Indeed.
We were blessed to also have a couple who have been wonderful to my aunt and were part of her support network when life dealt her one of those trials that seems unbearable. This couple has been together for 42 years, amazing.
And my dear friends, a couple that live close enough to us and are soon to be blessed with a baby girl. They have joined us for Christmas for what now feels like forever. They are a part of the family, and they talk of moving sometime soon which I will admit drives me a bit crazy, and I have in my head a way to plot thwarting that evil plot of theirs. My whole family thinks of them as family and they have no idea what they are in for when the baby girl arrives.
I had a marvelous Christmas spent with dear family, two mothers to be, two couples who have been together for more than 40 years, two men that keep flashlights handy at all times, several fabulous cooks, some awesome desserts and a beautifully decorated table.
This is among my most favorite Christmas's ever.