On my side of our extended family, we decided not to shower one another with christmas gifts this year. I suppose this is for a number of reasons, one of which is that I have such a large family, 5 siblings, plus spouses, neices, nephews, and now the children are having children. So for the last few years gift giving among all of us has almost become a monumental event. I'm sure the state of the current economy is coming into play.
I think another reason may be because we're all putting into perspective the knowledge of what this Christmas means to us as a family and the time we have left with Judy. Her cancer is progressing and her energy is waining. I know she worries that she is not up to shopping, spending hours picking out just the right presents for each of us. It will be difficult enough for her to travel to Georgia for Christmas. The journey will not be easy, or light this year. She comes in spite of pain, weakness, and fatigue. But she comes. She wants to be home for Christmas. I'm sure she feels the importance of this particular Christmas holiday. As for me, I struggle with trying to figure out how we'll get through it. Knowing......
I've been so blessed with a large, loving and devoted family. God has been good to us. Mama left us way to soon, as least too soon for my liking, but I have been blessed to have two loving parents, who taught us to love unconditionally. Sometimes I look around and see that not everyone has had the kind of love that I grew up with. Or, somewhere they lost it along the road to becoming an adult. Thank God He granted me the blessing of a strong and loving family. And whats so cool is that now I'm old enough to see that the blessing was extended from generation to generation to generation, even now to the youngest generation.
So this year, there will not be the large bustling noisy crowd ripping open gifts around my daddy's Christmas tree. But just those presents will be missing, nothing else. We'll still be a large, noisy, laughing, loud bunch cutting up and teasing one another, eating until we pop, or fall asleep, celebrating my daddy and baby brother Jason's birthday (yes, they are both Christmas day babies so an afternoon birthday party is in order) and generally having a grand time. What better gift to one another?
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby, age 7