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The Christmas surprise

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■ The Christmas surprise

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By OLIVE SLYE

Age 78

Emily

It was Dec. 24 of 2011 and I remember it like it happened yesterday!

Have you ever been so absolutely surprised that you were sure you must be dreaming? In early December we were busily preparing to leave for Florida. There were Christmas letters to write, clothes to pack, lefse to make (Norwegians have to have lefse), caramel popcorn to make to share with loved ones and many other things to do!

We had our Christmas get-together with our family who live near us and soon we were on our way to the Cities to have a Christmas celebration with our sons and their families, then on to Alabama to be with Roy, Laurie and the girls for several weeks over Christmas.

On Christmas Eve day I was busily helping Laurie with cooking and cleaning. The beautiful weather beckoned me outside to sweep off the driveway. While I was doing that, Laurie called and asked if I’d come in and help her in the kitchen (the rascal, she knew what was about to happen!). We were busily working in the kitchen when she stopped and listened and then exclaimed, “It sounds like we have Christmas carolers. We’ve never had carolers at our house before!”

She went through the door and sure enough there were carolers!

“Come everybody and listen to the carolers!” she exclaimed. We all hurried to the door and there stood seven carolers with their books almost covering their faces (I thought maybe that’s the way they did it in Alabama). Only their eyes were showing, they wore coats and caps and were singing lustily!

A little brown-eyed girl caught my eye and I thought, “God, how nice of you to send a little caroler who looks so much like our great-granddaughter, Mariya, to carol to us.”

They couldn’t hold back the laughter any longer and, surprise of surprises, it was Mariya, along with her Papa and Mama and our daughter, Sharon and Husband, Jim, and our grandkids, Kim and Charlie. I’ve never been more pleasantly surprised! We knew nothing about it — they all had kept it a secret!

Fun and more fun — what a wonderful time we had together!

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