74: A Christmas Surprise for Everyone

74: A Christmas Surprise for Everyone

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!

A Christmas Surprise for Everyone

A new baby is like the beginning of all things — wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.

~Eda J. Le Shan

When the company transferred my husband back to our home state, we were delighted to once again be close to our family, especially the grandchildren. We moved into our new house the first of December and decided to have the whole family come to our home for Christmas that year.

Two weeks before Christmas, our oldest daughter Kathy called to tell me she was pregnant with their third child. Since I was the first to be told, we plotted to announce the new arrival to the whole family on Christmas Eve. I would purchase a little gift, wrap it, and hide it in the lower branches of the Christmas tree for the new addition to the family. Since Kathy already had two children and our youngest daughter Cindy had been married almost a year, everyone would assume Cindy and her husband Alan were expecting.

On Christmas Eve, everyone arrived and gifts were piled around the tree with excitement and anticipation. After dinner, we gathered in the living room. My husband handed out gifts. We watched as our two grandchildren quickly opened all their packages and became engrossed in playing with their new toys.

After the adults finished opening their gifts and everyone said thank you, I sat down on the floor next to the Christmas tree, trying to look casual as I straightened the tree’s skirt. Accidentally finding the little package in the branches of the tree, I announced, “Oh, look, here’s a gift we missed.” I pulled it out from its hiding place and read the tag: “To the new addition to the family.”

We were all shocked at what happened next. Cindy began berating Alan! “Why did you tell them? I told you not to tell anyone! I wanted to wait till after Christmas!”

Poor Alan, as surprised as the rest of us, pleaded innocent, “I didn’t tell anybody anything!”

“Yes, you did!”

“No, I didn’t!”

Confused, other family members chimed in: “Tell us what?” “Wait a minute!” “What’s this all about?” “What’s going on?”

Kathy began telling Cindy, “Alan didn’t tell us anything. It’s me that’s expecting.”

“You? No, I am,” Cindy said.

“I am, too.”

“You are, too?”


“End of August,” Cindy proclaimed.

“First of August,” Kathy said.

Kathy and I had planned to surprise everyone else. Instead, we were all surprised and delighted to hear there would be two new babies in the family. As for me, I breathed a sigh of relief that they weren’t due at the same time... it was a five-hour drive between them!

~Janie Hall

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