There have been many, many memorable Christmas times in my life, but one stands out like no other.
My oldest daughter Jennifer and her husband Phillippe were newly married. They lived in Montrose in Houston in a little cottage. Phillippe came by his culinary talents because his mother had trained at
the world renowned culinary school in France, Le Cordon Bleu. His parents had owned a well loved French restaurant in Houston. Later on they opened and owned Frenchy's on Nasa Rd 1. Yes, that restaurant did start out as a French restaurant even though it is Italian now with the name Frenchy's.
Rabbit is a dish that the French know how to cook. Jennifer was learning to cook all kinds of culinary delights as well.
Together they prepared a feast that day. As we all gathered around the table to enjoy the multi course meal, we noticed an old man walking down the street with a grocery shopping cart. He had a cardboard box in it. He was looking for anything to sell and a way to stay warm. Anything.
We all stopped about what we were to do. We asked him to come in and join us for Christmas dinner. He adamantly refused. He said he wasn't clean enough. We assured him that he was fine, but he wouldn't budge. So we took a good china plate, a salad plate and a dessert plate along with a glass goblet for him to take with him. He couldn't believe his eyes. We put it in a gift box so it wouldn't tip and off he went.
Our meal, I must confess, was slightly subdued. Thinking of all we had and how little so many others don't have. Often it is no fault of theirs. I've sat many a time and heard the stories. Jobs lost. Ex-vets. Divorce.
Parents died. Illness. So many things. We did enjoy the rabbit, the other dishes and the dessert.
As we all left after dinner, out on the porch, were the dishes. Spotlessly clean and all stacked right by the door. A scribbled note said, "Thank you" and "Merry Christmas".
It truly felt as though we had been visited by the Spirit of Christmas. Maybe we had..........