Your sack lunch is my Christmas

Somehow the conversation turned to Capri Suns– the chalky tasting drink pouches anchoring my kids daily lunch. “Ugh, I can’t even drink them anymore.” Ben said. “They remind me of 12 years of sack lunches.”

“Oh I know,” Sammie said, “kind of like the Prince Lu School Boy cookies.”

We all turned to her in amazement. Prince Lu School Boy cookies?! Those are anything but ordinary.


“My mom put one or two in my lunch every day.” Sammie said.

“And what was the rest of your lunch?” Erik asked. “French bread with brie cheese?”

“Um, yeah. Or maybe gouda.”

“Your sack lunch as a kid,” Erik declared, “was my Christmas!”

Heather spoke up next, “I can’t believe you got Capri Suns in your sack lunch! At my house those are only for special occasions.”

We all laughed, but the phrase has stuck with us. “Your school lunch is my Christmas.”

Before I go any further, let’s clarify we’re not calling Sammie spoiled– her mom just happens to make the best school lunches on the planet (and every other meal). Sammie’s lovely and hardworking and grateful and practically perfect in every way. Still I keep thinking about the concept– my ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary.

Everyone’s on the gratitude bandwagon these days, so I’m not offering any new insight, but I think it’s fun to think about the ordinary things around us which would awe and amaze others.

Just the wonder of seasons in Utah makes our San Diego cousins swoon. They live in the most beloved climate in the country (see The Pleasant Places to Live) yet they delight in our vibrant, rainy springs, dry hot summers, glorious autumn colors and snowy winters. Our friends live in Paris right by the Arc d’Triomphe and they marvel at our backyard and walking distance to church. Our school lunch = their Christmas and vice versa!

Mary and I are home this weekend suffering with summer colds while the boys (and Sammie) hike the Narrows in Zion National Park. Living near so many National Parks provides some of the benefits of making Utah our home, as do the canyons near our house, the ski hills, the Mormon Pioneer sights, the temples, our sunsets and so many other ordinary extraordinary bits of daily life.

We weren’t too sad to be left home from the vacation in Zion’s. Sure we would have loved canyoneering and hiking, but we enjoyed our cozy beds, watering the garden, reading books, washing fewer dishes….

Ordinary. Extraordinary. Kind of like Christmas every day.


June 26, 2016
July 17, 2016



  1. Handsfullmom

    July 10, 2016

    Well said. It is all too easy to get used to the everyday, ordinary luxuries we enjoy.

  2. Emily B

    July 11, 2016

    I love this. Standard of living variances are interesting to me. Mostly, because they are so arbitrary from income. For the most part, in America, we decide what we think our standard of living should be (how big a house, how much we eat out, what kind of groceries we buy, what kind of car, new or old, how many clothes, where to buy clothes, on sale, on clearance?). Regardless of whether or not we meet those ideals, we all have them and strive for what we think is good or appropriate, or a splurge, pampering. What is right for my sack lunch, for my Christmas.
    Then there are the things not tied to money, how much sleep, exercise, family time, tv time, time in nature. We really have so much choice in our lives. It is mind boggling. And these are everyday things. I often have to tell myself to just do what I want instead of conforming to what my parents/neighbors/peers are doing.
    And I guess that is what your post explores, understanding the choices that were made for us as children and thinking of how will we move forward? Hopefully with gratitude for what we have had and gratitude for the ability to choose something different.

  3. Kirsten

    July 13, 2016

    love this! We try to point things like this to our children.

  4. Laura

    July 17, 2016

    I loved this! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

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