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How a Jar of Olives Saved Christmas 2020

Like everyone who celebrates, I was saddened that Christmas this year will be really scaled back, but something happened on the weekend that made me see that this Christmas is as special as any I have had before, if not more.

Last week my Step-Mother and I were discussing where we can buy a certain type of olives my Father loves - they are Lebanese and not easily found in our city. And because of the pandemic, a trip to Toronto was not in the cards this year.

My daughter remembered that a store in Niagara Falls recently mentioned they now carry Middle Eastern Groceries - so we thought, "let's give it a try."

We found a shelf full of different types of olives and specifically a jar of Lebanese olives. Not gonna lie; it was a fun moment - like finding the treasure at the end of a rainbow.

Yesterday we dropped them off and held our breath as my Father sampled one… then he sampled a second one… and on the third one, he said, "these are good!"

Even though we had our masks on, I could tell My Step-Mother & Daughter's smile was as big as mine - and what happened next - so simple and so pure - saved Christmas for me this year.

My Grand-Mother and Grand-Father in Jordan.

My Father started talking about how his Mother, who many years ago left us, would prepare olives with lemon and garlic, the way he really loved them. As he talked, his eyes brightened with memories of his childhood.

In that moment, it was no longer about a jar of olives; it was about a family story being passed down to my daughter, who never got a chance to meet her great Grand-Mother. It was about bringing my Father's homeland of Jordan alive, and most importantly, it was about the love that is passed down through generations.

In that moment I swear my Grand-Mother was with us… enveloping us in one of her warm and loving hugs.

As my Father took his jar of olives into his kitchen, he stated it was the best Christmas present he could get.

It didn't have a bow; it wasn't a high-tech gadget; it wasn't an expensive piece of jewelry or designer clothes. It was just a jar of olives and now one of my most treasured Christmas moments.


Ronnie Swais

Exec Publisher, A Beautiful Life Publishing

Host, A Beautiful Life Podcast

Exec Producer, LifeCon™

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