What Christmas means. (Part 3)

Hey loves, this is the finale of “What Christmas means. Here’s part 3 y’all, enjoy, and Merry Christmas! 🎄🎁 

On Christmas Eve, the ladies met at Janita’s house for brunch. “Hey ladies, come on in,” Janita said, as she opened her front door. “Whew, it’s really cold out there,” Koreyn said. “I know, and snow is in the forecast tomorrow too,” Janita said, as she closed the door. What would you ladies like to drink?

I have eggnog, mimosas, water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, apple or orange juice,” Janita said. “Dang, sis. You have a little bit of everything don’t you?” Koreyn said. “I’m cool on the drinks for now. I’m just ready to eat. 

Janita, did you cook all of this?” Tanesha said, looking at the array of food. “Girl, no. Lisa did,” Janita said. Wait a minute, I thought we all agreed that starting this year we’d take turns,” Koreyn said. “Exactly, Koreyn,” Tanesha said.

“Well, I am hosting it. I just paid Lisa to cater it,” Janita said. “Sorry Lisa, looks you’re never going to get a break, because I’m definitely hiring you next year when it’s my turn,” Koreyn said. “It’s all good. You all know that cooking is my passion, but I do need help. 

God has been blessing me, and business is booming! Janita and I went over my P&L statement, and it would be beneficial to hire help and expand my services,” Lisa said. “Yeah, she’s finally listening to me as her financial advisor, and not just her friend. I’ve been trying to tell her this for how long now?” Janita said. “For about as long as you’ve been telling Tanesha to cut employee labor costs at her grocery store, by investing in self checkout,” Koreyn said. 

“Um, Koreyn, nobody asked you,” Tanesha said. “Hey, I’m just saying, my Animal Hospital is doing great, because I take Janita’s advice. “Okay, cat woman, we know you’re the rich one out the group. You don’t have to brag,” Tanesha said. “I’m not bragging.

I’m just saying, I follow my financial advisor/best friend’s advice. Also, I’m far from rich, but I do alright,” Koreyn said. “Yes, and how’s it going with the veterinary surgeon you met at TJ’s Christmas party? TJ told me that the two of you were dating,” Lisa said, as they all fixed themselves a plate of food. “I’ve only known him a week, but yes, we’ve went out for coffee twice, and lunch once. 

He’s a nice guy. We have a lot in common,” Koreyn said. “Alright, friend. Good for you,” Lisa said. “I know right. 

Praise God, my friend won’t die a crazy cat lady,” Tanesha said. “What happened to the guy that you were talking to, Tanesha?” Koreyn said. “We’re still talking, but we’re taking things slow. I’m not ready for anything serious right now, I’m still trying to get over,” Tanesha said, before Janita cut her off. “Don’t say his name. 

It’s been four months, and you’ve been doing great. Don’t even think about his trifling behind,” Janita said. “Janita, what about you? You got a few people’s phone number that night,” Tanesha said. “Girl, did you not see all that money in the room that night? 

I was networking. I’m trying to  help them manage their money. I’m only looking for business relationships right now,” Janita said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. Get your bag, sis,” Lisa said. 

Cheers to that,” Tanesha said, as they all held up their mimosas for a toast. “So, what time are you and TJ heading to your parents farm?” Koreyn said. “I’m thinking, around two this afternoon. That way we’ll arrive around five in the evening,” Lisa said. “Cool, that means we’ll all be leaving around the same time,” Koreyn said. 

“Lisa, this quiche is really good,” Tanesha said. “And the scones are amazing. I think I’ll have another,” Koreyn said. “And guess what ladies? Everything you’re eating is one hundred percent vegan,” Lisa said. 

“No way,” Janita said. “Yes, way,” Lisa said. “Girl, I thought you were crazy after you went from vegetarian to full vegan earlier this year, but this is really good,” Tanesha said. “Wait, Janita, you didn’t know that she was making all vegan dishes? Her catering business is literally, ‘All things vegan,’” Koreyn said.

Yeah, but Lisa can cook anything, y’all know that, which is why she’s usually the one who cooks every year,” Janita said. Well, I learned early. Y’all know that. Being the daughter of a farmer, I had to,” Lisa said. The ladies socialized for a couple of hours, and after brunch, they went back to their homes to prepare for their three hour trip to visit their parents for Christmas. 

Lisa and TJ arrived at Lisa’s parents home at five in the evening. “Hey, honey! You made it, and just in time. Dinner’s almost ready, and there’s supposed to be a snow storm starting around six this evening. Your father and your brother is out gathering more birch and pine logs for the fireplace,” Lisa’s mom said. 

“Yes, we saw them. There were also a few customers buying firewood as well. Looks like everyone’s preparing for the storm,” Lisa said. “And you must be TJ?” Lisa’s mom said. “Oh, babe, I’m so sorry. 

Yes, mom. This is my boyfriend, TJ. TJ, mom,” Lisa said. “And dad,” Lisa’s dad said, as he walked up carrying firewood. “And I’m Lisa’s brother, Will,” her brother said. 

He had his hands full of firewood as well. “Nice to meet you all. Hey, let me help you out with that,” TJ said, to Will. “I’m good, but it’s plenty more on the truck if you want to grab some of those,” Will said, as he followed his dad up the stairs and into the house. “Sure,” TJ said. 

TJ took the luggage inside the house first, and then he went back out to help the guys with the firewood. “Whew. Yeah, it’s definitely going to snow. The temperature has dropped ten degrees in like thirty minutes,” Will said. “Yeah, looks like we’re going to be snowed in for at least a couple of days,” Lisa’s dad said. 

“Are you worried about how the snow will affect your crops?” TJ said. “No, they’ll be fine,” Lisa’s dad laughed. “Carrots, Kale, and turnips, can survive the snow,” he said. “Oh. Yeah… I guess I’m showing how much of a city boy I am, right?” TJ said. 

The three men laughed. “Yeah, but it’s cool man,” Will said. “Don’t worry, before you and Lisa head back to Charlotte, you will certainly know a thing or two about farming. Dad is going to put you to work, trust me,” Will said. “No problem. I’m ready,” TJ said. 

After the men went back inside, they washed their hands and got ready for dinner. For dinner, Lisa’s mom made fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese, shrimp and grits, pan seared trout, garden salad, and homemade yeast rolls. Lisa only ate fried green tomatoes without pimento cheese, and a salad. “TJ helped himself to everything, and so did everyone else. After dinner, the family sat fireside and talked, joked, and laughed. 

They also played a couple of board games, and drank wine before heading to bed. That night while TJ and Lisa were laying in bed, TJ said, “I prayed for you, you know.” Lisa had her head on his chest. “You did?” she said. “Yes, and after a few days of getting to know you, I knew you were the one. 

Nothing dramatic happened, I just knew it. They say that when a man knows, he knows. I never understood that, until you came into my life. I thought that two people had to get to know each other for at least ninety days before being sure if the person is that one. When I realized that you were the one, I knew that I couldn’t give the next man the opportunity to sweep you off your feet. 

I couldn’t live with that, especially after knowing how rare, how bomb, how intelligent, how funny, and beautiful you are, and not just physically, but inside too. Your heart is so beautiful, and your soul speaks to me. You told me that I make you feel safe. It’s crazy, because I feel the same thing with you. I feel hope, and I feel at home,” TJ said. 

“Aww, babe, that’s so sweet. I love you so much,” Lisa said, in a sleepy tone. TJ smiled, “I love you more. I’ve wondered how did I become blessed with such an amazing woman, and now that I’ve met your family, I finally understand. I love how your mom and dad work together to make their house a home. I want us to have that kinda love. 

It has an old fashioned feel, but at the same time they keep it new. It’s refreshing, and real. I guess, what I’m trying to say, is,” TJ said, before Lisa’s snoring interrupted. He smiled, then kissed her on the forehead, and held her tight, then he went to sleep. The next morning was Christmas.

The smell of homemade buttermilk biscuits, fresh coffee, and bacon, woke the house. Everyone met downstairs. It was Lisa’s family tradition to share with one another what Christmas personally means to each individual, before breakfast. Lisa’s dad started first. He said, “Christmas means remembering to count your blessings, being grateful, and thanking God for giving us the greatest gift of all, love, which was shown when he sent our Lord and Savior Jesus.”

“Christmas means, peace and joy, that doesn’t come from presents under a tree, but from the love of God our Father, and family,” Lisa’s mom said.  Will said, “Christmas means helping dad hang lights around the house, cutting firewood, and endless trips to the store to make sure that mom has every ingredient she needs for her famous pies and desserts. It’s about dad telling me the same stories, year after year, and it’s about mom making her delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies on Christmas Eve night, and me eating them all up.” “Right, Santa didn’t stand a chance,” his mom said. “His sister didn’t either,” his dad said, with a laugh. 

It was now Lisa’s turn to share what Christmas means to her. “Christmas means hope. Hope that we’re not alone in this world. Hope that we can overcome any obstacle, weaknesses, or insecurities, we may have. Hope that there’s someone out there praying for you, like you’re praying for them. 

Hope that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Hope that nothing is impossible when you believe, and hope that you’ll someday find the love that your parents always taught you was possible,” she said, as she looked at TJ. “Aww,” her mom said. TJ held Lisa’s hand tight, and smiled at her. I love you babe,” she said.

“I love you too,” TJ said. “What Christmas means… Well growing up, it meant spending time with my grandmother, who also raised me. It meant helping her make cookies for Santa, and like Will, I’d sneak back into the kitchen to take a few for myself. It means as a child, waking up and opening gifts with her, and when I became an adult, it meant coming home for Christmas and always surprising her with a room full of gifts. 

She always took care of me, and I thank God that I was able to show a small token of appreciation to her before she passed away.” He began to get choked up, but he cleared his throat and took a deep breath in, and out. Lisa rubbed his hand. “It’s okay, babe,” she said. “Sorry, I’m not trying to turn this into a sad occasion,” TJ said. 

“No, son, it’s okay. Say what’s on your heart,” Lisa’s mom said. “Christmas means bittersweet memories, but it also means new beginnings,” TJ said. “That’s right, son,” Lisa’s father said. “As we went around the room, I’ve felt every bit of what Christmas means to each of you, and I’ve felt it because I’ve found it in Lisa. 

I feel love, gratitude, joy, and peace. She’s my helpmeet. She sacrifices for me and gives me hope. They say that home is where the heart is, well, I’m finally at home, after a year of not knowing if I’d ever find it again. So, on this Christmas Day, I just want to say,” TJ said, before getting down on one knee and taking a small box out of his pocket.

Lisa’s eyes became huge. She let go of his hand and screamed, and covered her mouth. “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” she said. “Lisa, everything that Christmas is, you are to me. Will you marry me?” TJ said. 

“Yes,” she cried, with happy tears falling from her eyes. TJ put the ring on her finger, and then he stood up. “Yes, babe. Yes, yes, yes,” Lisa said, while kissing him all over the face. Her family applauded and gave their congratulations. 

Lisa’s dad already knew that TJ was going to propose because TJ asked for Lisa’s father’s blessing on yesterday. The family sat down to eat, and Lisa barely touched her fruit and plant based eggs. She was too excited. She called her girls to wish them a Merry Christmas and to tell them the good news. Her friends were so happy for her. 

Afterwards, Lisa and her family opened presents, and then she and her mom began cooking Christmas dinner. Lisa’s dad and Will, took TJ out to the barn to teach him how to milk a cow by hand, and collect chicken eggs. Later on during dinner, TJ told Lisa and her mom how stubborn a couple of the chickens were, and how he almost got kicked by a cow. TJ wasn’t much of a farmer, and said, “I think that I’ll just stick to heart surgery.” The End. 

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