Small Town Stories,  There are good people in the world.

Christmas Candles*

A little while ago, I found a “Buy Nothing” Facebook group for my community. I joined, and fell in love with it immediately. It works in two ways: you can either post a picture of something you have but no longer need / want, or you can make a post looking for something. Then people will comment and an exchange will be made– absolutely free.

I’ve seen some incredible things go through: furniture, toys, clothing, home decor, Christmas Trees, food, baby items, the list goes on and on. People have given and received some pretty neat things, and the only stipulations are that you have to live in the community and it has to be free. I love it.

I’ve been able to clear out a bunch of things I no longer needed, and I’ve picked up several things for the kids as well. I found a Hallowe’en costume for S, and all kinds of things I needed for W. It’s been a great resource for me, and it’s been a really neat vehicle for me to get to know my way around town. I’ve been able to explore different areas I wouldn’t really have had an excuse to drive through, and I’ve actually met a few people through it that I’m really enjoying getting to know.

Most of what I have picked up has been for the kids, but on Friday I saw that someone had posted a set of cute Christmas candle holders and I just loved them. The last few days with W have been a bit challenging, and I just wanted something… just for me. I threw my name in the hat, and the owner messaged me and told me that I could have them. We made arrangements for me to pick up the following day.

Well, that pick up didn’t happen. For two days, I tried to get over to her home to pick them up and I just couldn’t get there. I didn’t really have an earth shattering excuse– I was just exhausted. You know, the kind of exhausted where you feel like you’re fraying at the edges and everything just feels hard. W just had his six month vaccines and is teething, and between the two his nights have been really difficult. The idea of putting him in his car seat and trying to drive over was just more than I thought that I could handle on less than three solid hours of sleep.

I apologized profusely, and asked the sweet woman who had been holding them for me to please gift them to the next person in line. She asked me where I lived, and thought her husband might be able to drop them off. I was so touched by the offer, but I thanked her and asked her not to go to any trouble just for me. They were beautiful little candles, I knew someone would be able to come get them without causing her any additional work.

I put my phone down and started making dinner. The kids were a bit off the wall– M had just come in from doing some work in the garage, and S and the boys were running circles around the house. W was fussing in his circle of neglect and I was trying to cobble some food together. It was loud. I was so tired.

Then the doorbell rang.

Usually it’s the two boys across the street, bursting to come in and play.

But when I opened the door, there was no one there. Confused, I looked down and saw a large brown bag sitting on my stoop, carefully folded at the top.

I looked out onto my driveway and met eyes with a stranger. With a twinkle in his eye he smiled, waved, and called out, “Merry Christmas!” before disappearing into the night.

There, in the bag, were the little gold candle holders that I had loved.

I can’t explain to you how much that meant to me on THAT day. I love being a mom. I love having a big family.

…but sometimes, it’s really hard. We don’t have any family nearby to help, and when W doesn’t sleep I have to dig deep to get through the day.

Having those little candles appear on my doorstep like that was quite literally a light in the darkness for me. I was so touched that again, a complete stranger would go out of their way to do this for me– the woman who had flaked on the pickup in the first place.

There is something so special about this community. I’m just so grateful to be here, and for the many ways the people here have already supported my family.

For the ways they have supported me.

There are good people in the world… and I think a whole lot of them live right here. ❤️

P.s. W approves of the candles.

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