On Christmas Eve, one of my mother's neighbors came over to drop off a plate of holiday cookies. She was accompanied by her daughter, Hannah. Mom asked Hannah what she wanted for Christmas, and Hannah said, "A horse."
At this point, I got involved in the conversation. It turned that, until fairly recently, Hannah's family had owned a horse. They'd kept it near the Loma Alta ring in Altadena, where I'd once ridden Snickers, Navajo, Chipper and others. We shared a few stories, and before she left, I told Hannah that I thought Santa would bring her a pony.
I didn't say what kind of pony.
The real, live, breathing ones don't actually make good gifts, but plastic ponies are a different matter entirely. I still have a small stash of Breyers living in my Mom's basement. Most are treasured members of my carpet herd and not candidates for re-homing, but I was able to find a couple I could (just) bare to part with.
I also decided to give her my old Breyer barn.With Ryan's help, I hauled everything upstairs, cleaned it up a little and then we carried the barn and horses to Hannah's house.
No one was home, so we left everything on the front porch.
Oh, how I would have loved a surprise like this when I was Hannah's age! I wish I could have seen her face when she came home and found it.
I know I'll miss seeing those horses next time I'm in California, but I have no regrets. Sometimes giving really is better than getting or keeping. I hope Hannah enjoys owning Nick of Time and Love N Kisses as much as I did.