Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas With The Shalans, Week 4

Merry Christmas Eve! It's been a very interesting week, to say the least. So interesting that I forgot that today was Saturday and almost neglected to post my final Shalan holiday excerpt. Before I do so, though, I ask that you keep my family in your prayers. We're going through a tough time right now, but we do have much for which to be thankful.

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.

I took my brother Will’s spot on the couch as he was called to the kitchen for carving duty. A half hour later, my sister and brother-in-law back from a successful mission to locate whipped topping and the turkey carved and on the table, Mom called everyone around. Dad turned off the TV and my oldest brother and my two sisters-in-law came down the stairs, preceded by four rambunctious children, ranging in age from three to nine. “I forgot something,” Dee whispered in my ear. “Be right back.” I looked after her, concerned that she had gotten ill. But by the time everyone was gathered around the table, she was back with what looked like a Christmas gift bag in her hand. She waved it at Jenn, who smiled. She moved to my side and took my hand. Jenn wrapped her arms around Dee’s other arm and put her head on her shoulder. 
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, then.”
 Okay, let’s pray.”
Pumpkin Pie, Dessert, Food, Baked, Holiday
Dee raised her hand. “Umm, I’m sorry to interrupt, but before we pray, I have a little something to say.” She let go of my hand and Jenn disengaged from her other arm. “Harry, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’ve been keeping something from you and I just can’t keep up this charade anymore. You’ve known for a while probably that something is different.” She lifted up the bag. “I was hoping to tell you this at Christmas time, but Miss Punkin here figured out my secret, so I feared you would soon, too.” She held up the package. “So, now that I have you all completely perplexed, here, Harry. Hopefully this will explain what I’m talking about. Before you open it, I want you to know I love you very much.”
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.”
pregnant baby child mother mom woman people family “It’s Emma Grace?”
“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!


  1. This particular scene made me cry the first time I read it and it just made me tear up again!