So without further ado, here's the final excerpt, which doesn't technically take place at Christmas. It's Thanksgiving dinner, but Dee gives Harry one of the greatest gifts he's ever received. This is from Dawn of Grace.
Mom moved to my other side, putting her arm around my waist. I put my arm over her shoulder. “Harry, you want to say the prayer?”
“Sure. But first, I’d like to say thanks to everyone for working so hard to arrange your schedules so we could all be here together for Thanksgiving. Especially Otis and Anita. I want to say one more time, congratulations on your engagement. We’re all so happy for you two. Although, Anita, you might want to be careful. How your future husband could afford such a rock on a cop’s salary is beyond me.”
Otis laughed. “It’s amazing what good prices you can get at the evidence lockup.”
“Let’s see the ring one more time!” Jenn shouted. Anita shyly held out her hand.
Dee reached toward Anita. “It really is beautiful, Anita.”
I squeezed Dee’s hand. “Not as beautiful as its owner, though.”
“Watch it bud.”
“Otis, you’ve been flirting with my wife since high school. This is payback.”
Okay, let’s pray.”
She handed me the bag. I smiled at her and pulled the tissue paper out revealing something small in the bottom. As soon as my fingers touched it, I knew what it was—a Christmas ornament shaped like a baby rattle. It was inscribed with “Baby’s First Christmas.”
Mom leaned in. “Is that…?”
I smiled through tears. “Yes. I got this for you last Christmas. And I forgot.”
“And I opened it. On Christmas morning.”
“After we lost Emma Grace.”
“And I was so horrible, I drove you away and almost lost you. I’m so sorry.”
“Does it mean what I hope it means?”
“Yes. Everyone, we’re going to have a baby. I’m pregnant.”
I engulfed her in my arms, kissing her forehead. “I love you so much, Babydoll.”
“I love you too, Mister Man.”
Literally every other person in the house hugged her before Mom reminded us that Thanksgiving dinner was getting cold, so I said the prayer and we all sat down to the feast. We laughed and ate and had a perfect meal. Eddie spent the whole time circling the table, receiving enough bites that I was afraid he was going to get sick. But he never stopped.
After dinner was eaten and all the cleanup complete, Dee came and sat on my lap as I watched football with the menfolk. I was uncomfortably full, but it was worth it. I nestled my head in her bosom, put my hand on her belly, and sighed, eyes closed. It was obviously rounded, now that I was paying attention. Some detective I am. She lifted my chin, kissed me lightly, and then whispered to me. “Oh, and Harry, Dr. Mathur and I did the math. Based on how far along I am, guess when Emma Grace was conceived.”
“You had the dream too, didn’t you?”
“That’s the night. Our special night. That’s when she came back to us.”
So there you go. I hope you have a blessed Christmas and an amazing 2017. God bless us, everyone!