Journey 359: The Best Christmas Gift

What a beautiful Christmas Day! Sixty degree weather and ample sunshine didn’t create traditional postcard-like Christmas scenes but I didn’t mind the bright, breezy day. My daughter Adriel hosted the family for Christmas. 

My tree last night after I completed gift wrapping. 

As we gathered, gifts surrounded Adriel’s tree. Extra tables and chairs were set up, Christmas dinner prepared, pies popped into the oven. Conversations, punctuated with laughter, shifted from kitchen to living room and back again, a continuous joyful murmur that flowed  as people grouped here, then regrouped over there. 

We had a great meal…sliced brisket, smoked chicken and an assortment of sides and salads. The younger kids grouped around a table in the kitchen while Dayan and the adults sat at tables in the dining area and living room. 


After our meal, the children wasted no time in opening presents. That was a wild and fun commotion accompanied by the sound of paper ripping and the laughter of kids as they sorted out which packages were theirs. I was handing off presents to eager hands and didn’t capture many of those moments with my phone camera. 

Everyone received gifts. My mom, who stopped by later in the afternoon, gave gold coins to the kids and grandkids. And there was a wonderful assortment of toys, video and board games, art supplies, gift cards, books, specially crafted photos and items for the cooks in the family. It was fun to give…and to receive. 

The best gift of all today was that all of my children, with their spouses and fiancĂ©, and all five of my grandchildren were present! Because of busy schedules, it is rare for all of us to be able to gather together. Last Christmas, Adriel and her fiancĂ© were out of town, and three of the grandchildren were not able to join us. I totally understand how complicated scheduling can be. Which makes it incredibly exciting when everyone can be present. 


The make a silly face photo. 

I finished Christmas Day with a special treat. Dayan and I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special tonight. I’m caught up in this series. The special was my first real time Doctor Who episode. “The Husbands of River Song” brought back a favorite reoccurring character from previous episodes, River Song, and Dayan and I enjoyed the show immensely. We loved the many references to past stories and the chemistry between the 12th Doctor and River. 

We exchanged many happy looks and laughed, a lot, during the hour long special. And then as often happens during Doctor Who, the energy shifted and zapped my heart and tears filled my eyes.  It was a beautifully done episode and I’m grateful for the opportunity to watch it on this special day, with Dayan. 

Yes, what a beautiful day of celebrating and laughing, hugging and loving on each other. My heart is full tonight with gratitude and appreciation for these most precious gifts, my family members. I am blessed. I am honored to journey alongside each one, into the new year. 

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”   Burton Hillis



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