The stocking on my door

By Becky Holland

Being the new girl in town where there is no family or friends around, and certainly nothing familiar isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter how old you are – 22 or 33 or 46. When you are new, you are new, and when you are a bit on the fluffy side with nappy hair, glasses and a big ole’ head, well, you stick out like a bunch of bananas in a peanut field.

Trying having the status of ‘editor’ of the newspaper added to the ‘new girl’ role, and well, talk about spotlight on you 24-7. Things might be a little different if you were in a big community, but when you are in rural east Texas, it is what it is.

I have been here since July. This will have been my third city to live in since moving back to Texas three years ago. Two small communities and one medium community – one in southeast Texas and two in east Texas – have been my stomping grounds. Each place has been a little unique from their feedback to me and what I do to how they live and respond to each other. Do I have my favorites? That is a little unfair since I have only been here since July. (I will say, and this doesn’t mean there are any problems or bad things, that Georgia has been on my mind a lot lately.)

Feeling kind of out of place, like a misfit, I do my own little things, work a lot and come home and read a lot or write a lot or stalk Facebook. I have not found a church home, but I do watch church on the computer. I have tried a few attempts at volunteering or going to a gym, but the news never stops. I am not complaining. I have been paid to be nosy for 20 something years, and I love it.

This year, though, feelings of homesickness have been kind of strong. I have not seen my family in over a year, my parents in two and I have spent many holidays  just hanging out at home. (Mind you that is OK with me. We decorate eggs for all the holidays, watch holiday appropriate movies and write and play. We being me and the dog.)

I got up Monday, Dec. 12, feeling kind of bleh. It was the anniversary of the homecoming of one of the coolest kids I know – Caleb. The dog I had tried to foster was going to have to go back to the shelter – for possible adoption but also because it just was not working out with Toby(my dog) or my life schedule. My car headlight has been acting funky. My hair needs cutting. My ear still gives me trouble. And it was Monday.

On my back door was a red Christmas stocking with a note inside. (See pictures) The note talked about the 12 days of Christmas and that this was a game. If I wanted to participate I was to leave my stocking on my front porch each night and I couldn’t peek. After 8pm, secret Christmas friends would leave a surprise.

For me, I am the one who normally does stuff for folks. So, i was like, nah, i am not going to participate. I talked to my boss about it, and my dad, and they both encouraged me too.

I read that note over and over, and my heart filled with excitement, a little hope and even a little joy.

Then, the next thing happened.  (PS For those that forgot – here are the lyrics to the song)

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
10 Lords a Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords a Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords a Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

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