“Can we go now?” Oliver asked, rubbing his stomach.
“Let me just make sure all of these boxes have been broken down and then we can head over,” Finn said, his eyes scanning the shop. “I can’t believe how good the place looks.”
Maggie folded her arms across her chest and looked around her. “No, Finn. It looks great. I’m astounded by how nicely everything is shaping up. I think tomorrow I’m going to get started on the window display.”
After a delicious pizza dinner at the Moose Café, Finn walked over to the town green with Oliver. Maggie drove her car down Jarvis Street and found a spot close to the tree stand in case they found a tree and needed to strap it on top to take it home.
Powdery snow was falling all around them. Oliver was running around with his head tilted back so he could catch snowflakes in his mouth. It was like a beautiful postcard of an Alaskan Christmas scene. Being here with Maggie and Oliver felt like a sweet privilege.
Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful moment. I’d almost forgotten the simple joy of looking for the perfect Christmas tree.
It had been far too long since Finn had participated in such a heartwarming outing. For far too many Christmases he had been roaming around the United States, far away from his hometown. He’d missed out on a lot of moments. This year would be very different. He was going to soak up as much as he could of the holiday festivities here in Love. And he was going to live in the moment and enjoy every single second of it.
There was a multitude of Christmas trees lined up in rows. Trees of all shapes and sizes. Finn inhaled deeply. The scent was one of his favorites. It brought to mind everything he loved about the season.
“See anything you like?” Finn asked Oliver.
When Oliver reached up and grabbed hold of his hand, a funny sensation spread across Finn’s chest. It was such a simple thing, yet it made him feel like a rock star. He couldn’t deny the raw emotions it brought up inside him. Suddenly, someone needed him. Was this what it felt like to be a father? If so, it was incredible. Oliver made him realize that he wasn’t such a black sheep after all. He may have messed up a bunch of times, but in Oliver’s eyes, he was still a pretty good guy. And that meant the world to Finn.
As they walked from tree to tree, Finn found his gaze straying to Maggie. Her tender interactions with Oliver demonstrated her loving nature. She was a wonderful mother. Every child should be so grateful as to have a mother like Maggie.
Joy hummed and pulsed in the air. Everything felt pure and serene. If there was such a thing as a perfect moment in time, Finn knew this was it.
Oliver began jumping up and down. He was pointing at a medium-sized pine tree. “Hey, guys. Isn’t that a great tree?”
In Finn’s opinion it looked a bit lopsided, but he wasn’t going to put a damper on Oliver’s enthusiasm. If he wanted this slightly imperfect tree, then so be it.
Finn reached out and wrapped his hand around the base and then shook it. “It seems really solid.”
“This is it!” Oliver said. “That’s our tree.”
“Are you sure?” Maggie asked. “Once we buy it and strap it to the top of the car, that’s it. We’re not coming back for another one.”
“I’m absolutely one million percent sure,” Oliver said, his expression solemn.
“Well, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Finn said, sharing a bemused look with Maggie. “Let’s buy it.”
Maggie began to dig around in her purse. Finn reached out and placed a gentle hand on her wrist. “The tree is on me. Consider it my welcome-to-Love gift to you and Oliver.”
“That’s not necessary, Finn. You’re already doing so much to help out our family.”
“Maggie, let me do this. Trust me. Tobias’s inheritance is going to change my life in unimaginable ways.” He ran a hand over his face. “I’m not sure I’ve wrapped my head around Tobias’s generosity.”
Maggie nodded. “I know the feeling. Oliver and I have been so incredibly blessed. Not only by Uncle Tobias, but by your friendship and the generosity of the people here in town. Jasper. Hazel. Ruby. This town really is something special.”
Finn walked away from Oliver and Maggie, making his way toward the tent so he could purchase Oliver’s tree.
“Hey, Al. I think we’ve decided on a tree,” Finn said, greeting Alan Pendergast, the owner of the tree stand. He reached out and handed Al a wad of cash.
“Hey, Finn. Good to see you. Which tree are you looking at buying?”
Finn turned around and pointed toward Maggie and Oliver. “The one right there beside the woman and the little boy.”
Al nodded. “So is that Tobias’s niece?”
“Yes, that’s Maggie,” Finn said. “And her son, Oliver. They’re living out at Tobias’s place.”
Al let out a laugh. “I remember her as a little tyke. Tobias sure loved that girl.”