Friday, December 12, 2014

Jennifer Jackson | Spread the Christmas Joy

Two Christmas Surprises for the Price of One!

What better way to share one of my favorite Christmas memories with you than to share one that was full of surprises? After all, Christmas time tends to be full of surprises wrapped in pretty paper and bows. I know for a fact the people I surprised had no idea what was about to come their way – and you might not either - just wait and see!

A good surprise is hard to come by these days. I myself tend to ruin surprises. I tend to be impatient and share the fun news earlier or I figure out something is being planned for me. Thankfully, my family wasn’t overly investigative this time last year when I told them that I wouldn’t be coming home for the holidays again (this would have been the third year in a row that I missed Christmas in person). The previous two years of mailing gifts and skyping on Christmas morning was becoming the norm for us, so when I said it would be the same last year, they didn’t really think much of it.

I had every intention of following through with that statement and doing Christmas per usual, but the Lord had other plans. Here’s a little back story.

My family lives on the east coast and I had been living on the west coast for six years. For all I knew I would continue to live there and continue the routine of “coming home” once a year to visit. It can be expensive to travel over the holiday season and after a few years of doing it I decided that it wasn’t as much about the day as it was about the people I was celebrating with. My family and I would make the most of the time I came to visit and they were great sports about my not being able to come for the major holidays.

But last year was different. I had a secret to share and a surprise was brewing to make it that much more exciting when I shared my news. For months the Lord had been working in my life in such a way that made it very clear I should move back to the east coast. But it wasn’t a sure thing until around Thanksgiving - that’s when I decided to change my Christmas plans.

Not only did I plan to tell my family in person that I was soon going to live close enough to drive and see them whenever I wanted, but I desired to give them a Christmas gift I knew they would love – ME!

I quickly purchased my plane ticket and kept clear of any social media posting. I dodged the last minute questions from loved ones about my being sure that I couldn’t come for Christmas that year and waited to see my plan unfold. Other than some friends in Cali and one friend in Baltimore, no one else knew and I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to pull this off!

I was flying out of LAX on Christmas Eve and landing at BWI late that night. My plan was to call my little sister once I landed and let her in on the surprise –her own little surprise being that she was let in on the big news before everyone else. She and I have had a running tradition of calling each other on Christmas Eve, so when I called her the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hey Rache, Merry Christmas Eve! What are you doing?”

Rachell: “Merry Christmas Eve (in a tired voice), Jenn. I’m just about to go to bed. What are you up to, it’s still early there huh?”

Me: “I have a surprise for you. I need you to come pick me up at the airport, I just landed in Baltimore (voice revealing that I was clearly grinning from ear to ear).”

Rachell: “Haha, very funny.”

Me: “No, I am serious. I am on the plane, we just landed and I need you to come pick me up at BWI – and don’t tell anyone else, I want to surprise them in the morning!”

Rachell: “OMG! (laughter, excitement, more laughter) I can’t believe this, that’s awesome. I’ll be on my way in a few!”

Long story short, Rachell picked me up and I managed to sneak into my mom’s house without her or my nieces seeing me that night. My mom didn’t suspect a thing when she saw Rachell sleeping on the couch instead of upstairs in the guest room – where I was hiding and sleeping.

Christmas morning came and I came down stairs right as my nieces, step dad, and mom were preparing for breakfast and gifts.

Words won’t do the rest justice, so I’ll end with a video of the very moment when the rest of the house realized I was there:

Jennifer Jackson wears many hats. She is a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a friend, a reader, a writer, a counselor type, a Pinterist enthusiast, a creative thinker, a realist, a woman who loves to laugh and desires to glorify the Lord with her life. Professionally, she is Senior Product Specialist at Southern California based internet marketing company, Scorpion Design. She moved to Washington, D.C. this past July to help plant a new church in the area and to be closer to her family. You can find out more about her on the following sites:

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