It’s a cold, wintry night. I’m kicked back on my bed, watching Lifetime – a rarity (me kicked back on my bed, even getting to watch television). Zack the Wonder Dog is asleep and snoring, laying on MLH’s pillow, with his head on my shoulder. Zoie the Wonder Pup is nestled up against my leg, and is chewing on…a coathanger? What the heck?
MLH is at the kitchen table finalizing his morning reports. Younger Son is working at Best Buy and won’t be off until 11 p.m. – the joys of the Christmas Season. Elder Son is doing his own version of Christmas retail in Las Vegas, modeling for Cinch Jeans at Cowboy Christmas, and having a blast.
As for me? I’ve not even thought about one single Christmas present. That is horrible, I know.
One of my coworkers asked me what MLH was getting me for Christmas – and I must have had this weird look cross my face. He said, “What? Do y’all not exchange presents?” And I said, “Oh, sometimes – it just depends.”
The truth is, we usually don’t exchange Christmas gifts, by mutual agreement. Now, if I see something that I absolutely know will blow MLH’s socks off, I will snag it -like the cool amp I surprised him with on Christmas last year. I love to surprise him, and he does a good job of surprising me, as well. We always get the boys Christmas gifts, and though they’re grown, one of our traditions are filling their Christmas Gift Sacks (their stuff won’t fit in stockings!) with all sorts of music stuff, fun things, gift cards and neat t-shirts, things they’ll use but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. Zack (and now, Zoie) will get a stocking, as well.
Before December’s end, we’ll go on a short trip, and that will be our Christmas and anniversary celebration with each other. Getaways are always good for renewals - and we've been working so hard, we need some time off - just to breathe.
As to giving within our extended families for Christmas, we don’t. Our families always adopt other families through the Salvation Army and give to them, instead. On MLH’s side of the family, we all get together for family dinner, and go deliver all the presents to the Salvation Army at one time. It’s fun, and we all know we’re helping others – and it is right to do so. On both sides of our families, we do a themed stocking exchange, much like a white elephant party – if someone else likes the stocking you chose better than the one they drew, it’s up for grabs. That is a lot of fun, and can get really crazy.
Mostly, we try to live Christmas throughout the year…with each other, and by giving when we see a need, volunteering, and supporting different causes close to our hearts. It’s where, hopefully, we’re most effective.
The awesome gift the Father gave us - the gift of Jesus Christ - lasts all year, every year. It's the gift that's new every morning! And that's gift enough for us.