Jillian’s Christmas Wish
“What do you want for Christmas?” I overheard my five year old, Sarah, asking her Aunt at our annual family Christmas party.
“A baby,” my sister Jillian answered quietly.
A sad pain pricked my heart as I watch the sorrow spread across my sister’s face, but seemed to go unnoticed by my daughter.
“Can Santa Claus bring a real baby for Christmas,” my daughter asked optimistically.
“I don’t think so,” my sister replied with tightness in her voice.
I could see Jillian was trying to keep it together so as not to upset the rest of the family. It had been a hard year for her. She had known for a long time that having a child of her own was out of the question, but she had taken it extra hard since our youngest sister had announced she was expecting.
Jillian would now be the only one in our family without children and although she and her husband had put in their adoption papers a year and a half earlier they had heard nothing from the agency so far.
The evening went on swiftly. Children laughed and played games while the adults discussed world events and enjoyed each other’s company. It had been a wonderful party so far with the best saved for last, presents.
We all watch as eighteen grandchildren opened presents their grandparents had carefully purchased for them. Each child was ecstatic with their new toy showing them to anyone who would pay attention, but no one was more excited than my daughter Sarah who had been given a beautiful baby doll.
The doll resembled Sarah with its blue eyes and blond hair and I could see Sarah was delighted with her.
As the children finished showing off their gifts and the adults picked up the clutter I continued to watch Sarah play with her doll. She carefully rocked it for several minutes while pretending to feed its bottle and then to my surprise Sarah stood up and walked over to my sister Jillian and handed her the baby.
“Here you can have my baby until you get one of your own.”
Tears welled up in my sister’s eyes as well as my own as she reached out and took the baby from my daughter. Jillian kissed the doll gentle on its head cradling it briefly before returning it to Sarah.
“Thank you Sarah, but I think your baby will miss you if I took it home,” she said as she smiled and hugged my daughter tightly.
That has been the most wonderful Christmas I can remember. It was the year I got to see firsthand the true spirit of Christmas as only a child could portray.
To make the season even brighter Jillian received a phone call two days before Christmas to inform her that a baby girl had been born and they had been chosen by the birthmother. Jillian had received her Christmas wish after all.