Tomorrow is Christmas when everyone gathers around the tree, rips open presents, say the appropriate words and then eats. Recently, I have been trying to remember special gifts I received over my many years even when I was a child and I can’t remember anything. So either I am one step closer to the home, or those aren’t the gifts I should be trying to remember.
I remember our hip, modern aluminum tree that the branches had to be put in one-by-one. I remember the multi-colored light that shown on the tree and magically the tree changed colors. I remember my brother, Brad, and Caren sitting in front of the tree for hours oooooooing and awing over its beauty.
I remember the family gatherings of close family and distant crazy cousins. The best thing about family gatherings was the food: turkey stuffed with sage dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry jelly from the can with the can ridges prominently displayed and PIE. I remember everyone hanging out in the kitchen bugging my mom while she was trying to cook, and waiting for the turkey to come out so we could pick at it.
I remember the laughter. The same stories are told at every gathering and the stories still cause uproaring laughter. In the gathering of the Cunningham girls it doesn’t take long before one of us is shouting our mantra, “Stop, I am going to pee!”
I remember the competitive game play. The hours of Scrabble, 10,000, Left-Right-Center, and Yahtzee. Watching the Yahtzee victory dance never gets old. Caren won’t let anyone win, not even small crying children. When someone would say, “Caren, he is only two. Let him beat you at a game of Candyland.” Caren would reply, “The kid has to learn to lose sometime, now is a good time as any.”
I was watching Glee, (yes, I am a Gleek) and one of the characters, Quinn Fabray, said while serving food to the homeless, “I’ve been spending too much time focusing on what I don’t have rather than what I do have.” The next time you open a gift and find it wasn’t what you wanted, remember to focus on the gifts you do have. The real gifts: the gift of love, the gift of family and friends, the gift of laughter, and the gift of life.
Do you like the little gifts I leave for you in the bathroom ever once in awhile? It’s all about the element of surprise.
The Flip Side
I like that gift of a doggie door. I can see the lizards and get outside to get them quicker. The Gecko Master lives!