Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Christmas Not to be Forgotten

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.

I digress.

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..........



19 comments:

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Wow! Merry Christmas Babs also to your family.

Charles said...

And that is, or should be, what it is all about. Beautiful memory...thanks for sharing. Feliz Navidad to you and yours...it is COLD here in GDL this morning...abrazzos...

Babs said...

Thanks Peter. I will pass on the well wishes.

Charles - Igualmente to you. Cold in Gdl. Oh dear. We have a 48% (love that #) chance of rain today. Bah humbug. PLEASE no cold.....I'll be passing thru Gdl on New Years Day heading to the beach. THEN it can get cold! ha.

Cat Elena said...

Very nice story Babs!

Merry Christmas and safe travels in the New Year.

La Tejedora said...

This made me cry. Beautiful story, thanks!

Babs said...

Thanks Cat Elena and La Tejadora -

Feliz Navidad to you and yours.....

Billie Mercer said...

Barbara, you are a good woman. Definitely a Christmas to remember.

Babs said...

Billie, coming from you that is a beautiful comment.

Gracias.

Lynne (WinnieViews) said...

What a beautiful gesture (on both the giving and receiving sides!). Feliz Navidad to you and the family from lovely warm Loreto, Baja Sur!

Dean Wylo said...

This story made my Christmas morning! Thank you so much for sharing it. Have a very merry Christmas and a lovely time at the beach. Thank you, too, for the gifts you give us all year long via your blog.

Barbara

Babs said...

Lynne - Glad to know you are someplace warm. I've heard lovely things about Loreto......some day I'll get to Baja.

Barbara - What a lovely message to start the day.

Feliz Navidad to both of you!

vandy said...

Frenchy's is still a very fine restaurant...Italian now as you said. I never knew why an Italian restaurant would called Frenchy's, but now I know. Astronaut hangout as I recall.

Babs said...

Vandy, interestingly, they till serve the full menu that the DeBoutellier family served in addition to their own best Italian food in Texas, IMHO.

Frankie and Guissepe when they bought it from the family wanted the recipes and the location.....

They also own Villa Capri on Clear Lake which was the home of the woman who invented the stuffed jalepenos. Can't think of her name.......BIG Chaine person. Lois........Merry Christmas.

Steve Cotton said...

You caused a well of memories to tumble through the cinema that is my mind. My Dad had a a bit of bringing home homeless strangers he met on the street for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. My mother was never certain if we would be four or ten for dinner. I miss him a lot. But his generosity lives on.

Babs said...

Steve, I would have liked your dad. My kids used to say our house was like the Salvation Army! They too never knew who or how many people would be at our tables.....(I would add another table if necessary). Life is so much fun and meaningful that way.

Nan Talley said...

Now, THAT is the spirit of the Christ- the reason for Christmas.

Babs said...

Thanks for commenting Nan. We, as a family, try to do little things for people, always, but especially at Christmas!

Hope you had a lovely holiday, wherever you are. I see you're a fiber artist. Tell me more......

Kay Cox said...

Oh God, that was so Jennifer! So glad you brought back the memories. Merry Christmas!

Babs said...

THANKS Kay for your comment. I remember so many times when she would see someone living under the freeway, go home, make food and return to give it to them - even if it was only sandwiches.

I think we had an Earth Angel among us for 42 years.........