The decorations in this magical house are courtesy of my sister-in-law, Katie who makes her home so inviting. Little white lights, red ribbons, and ornaments everywhere.
Even the little doggies have tuxedos on today and they bring us all such great joy.
Pictures are snapping everywhere and food, some which has been prepared for days, has been beautifully displayed and will soon be enjoyed. The grill is on and the last minute foods are being cooked now.
I look around the living room and there are numerous conversations going on…the young 2o year old crowd conversing on what their IPOD’s contain, the Moms trading experiencings and laughter surrounding their child raising escapades, young love blossoming in the family for my college-aged niece and her boyfriend.
All the youngest of the family are doting on my two-year old nephew in from California and whom I’ve had the pleasure of being around for only the third time. It’s amazing what distance does to family relationships. But today, I’m especially grateful to be playing around with and witnessing this young one, Elijah, opening his Christmas gifts this morning. It’s an experience I haven’t had since his older brother, Brandon was a babe.
As one of my brothers will be moving to Hawaii next month, I find myself especially aware that it may be a few years again until I’ll have the experience of enjoying all of us being in the same town to spend Christmas together.
But today as I watch everyone enjoying themselves in mini-conversations all around my brother’s home, I am reminded that joy comes from surrounding ourselves with people whom we love and who love us.
In my line of work, someone precious to us can be gone in a moment. So I guess I’m even that much more appreciative and some would say ‘sensitive’ to the recognition that life can change literally in a heartbeat.
No one knows what tomorrow may bring. Or if we’ll even have another experience like I’m enjoying right this moment, as my eldest niece Ashleigh cozies up next to me. She and her sisters mean the world to me. They will always bring such joy to my life.
Let us always be grateful for the precious lives that touch us everyday. With all the turmoil in our world today…the economy, the prices, the wars, the fighting about the right laws of our land, the credit crunch…let us always remember the great gift anyone can give to each other is the time and experiences we share with those we love.
Time is the greatest gift we can give. All the things in our lives can be replaced. They can be found again. But the hugs and love and comfort and experiences with family…this exact special moment in time…can never, ever be captured again.
May you always treasure these moments.
Blessings to all of you on this Christmas Day!