Once again we had a wonderful Christmas this year. Our Christmas tradition starts at Thanksgiving when our three boys and their wives come for dinner; and afterwards they all decorate our Christmas tree. We have an eclectic collection of ornaments that we have collected over our forty years of marriage, ranging from those made by our kids when they were young to our Christopher Radco collectables. My wife can tell you the history behind each and every one of them. At that point Christmas is on!
On Christmas Eve they all come to our house for an evening of good food, snacks, games, and a touch of spirits to liven it up. And even though they are grown, they all spend the night; some in beds, some on the floor, and some on the couch. After they go to bed, my wife and I put out their stockings, stuffed with miscellaneous fun gifts from Santa. After we go to bed, they do the same to our stockings.
On Christmas morning, since I am the early bird riser, I put on the coffee and get the fireplace going until everyone gets stirring. We share a cup of coffee, then get down to business. First we all open our stocking gifts, then we settle in and a couple of the boys will start parsing out the presents. We all like to take our time, so we make sure everyone opens their gifts simultaneously, but slow, so we can all see what the others got. Then my wife starts making breakfast while everyone gathers up the paper and boxes, which earlier were beautiful and creatively wrapped presents; now destined for the trash bin.
Then we all eat, sit around talking, napping and generally just unwinding and enjoying each other for the rest of the day. Then we have dinner and leftovers, then the kids may play a new board game or two. Then everyone is off to their own homes, another wonderful Christmas over for another year.
So, as I sit at my computer this morning, with a hot cup of Choffy (brewed chocolate), my wife still in bed, I have a chance to reflect and get a little sentimental.
Each year, my wife and I talk about how on our first Christmas together, how little we had. But we were okay. By our second Christmas together we had our first child and he was the focus of our Christmas. Like most couples, during those early years we didn’t have much, but we always made sure Santa was good to our children. We didn’t go overboard, but they were always happy with what they got.
Now, forty years later, our boys are grown; they have wonderful wives; we have our first grand-baby; and we all share the same spirit of Christmas. We are very fortunate that they all still want to get together to share and celebrate Christmas as a family.
And now, watching our grand-daughter on her first Christmas, not really knowing what’s happening, but enjoying playing with the paper and ribbons from the gifts, we are looking forward to continuing our Christmas tradition with the next generation of our family.
I know there are a lot of people that are not as fortunate as we; and for us, the gifts are nice, but it’s really all about family and tradition. My wish is that everyone have a family or friend they can love and share the spirit of Christmas with at this time of year. Peace.