When Mom is excited about something, she laughs. Actually, it is more of a giggle. And if she's really excited, she will clap a few times, too. It is hands down the most joy-filled experience you will ever witness and is one of the things I love most about her.
A few months ago, I was sitting at a table with Mom, my dad, and my Aunt Jackie in the same hotel restaurant for the third day in a row during an event in Birmingham. We were all feeling a little down; sales hadn't been what we had hoped. I was eating my feelings in the form of yet another fried green tomato and pimiento cheese sandwich. Until Mom starts giggling. Then clapping. She is so excited at this point that she is unable to tell us what has her so, as they say in Texas, tickled.
It turns out she had just received an email confirming our participation in Houston's Joy of Giving market. Without context, I thought perhaps she was more tired than I had realized, but she went on to explain: the Joy of Giving market is a big deal and we had been turned down a time or two before. This was good news!
Hosted by the Episcopal Church Women of St. Martin's in Houston, the market effectively marks the beginning of the holiday season. With 80+ high-end merchants, shoppers can find the perfect gifts for all the special people on their holiday gift-giving lists. There is stylish clothing, one-of-a-kind accessories, jewelry, unique home decor items and daily silent auctions. The atmosphere is festive, the selection is well curated, the proceeds benefit organizations serving those in need, and several thousand Houstonians show up every year during the 2.5-day event.
Sadly, I can't be there to help but my Aunt Jackie will be. And it is going to be quite the production! If you are in or near Houston, get a jump start on your holiday shopping, purchase with purpose this season, and of course, as always, give my mom a hug for me. She might even giggle and clap her hands!
(Love you, Mama. You've got this.)