Opening the presents

I took a few minutes on Christmas Day after our presents had been exchanged, the wrapping paper ripped away, and the newness of the day had worn off to look over “the crazy mess” beneath our tree. My wife and kids gave me several presents that I’ll cherish for years to come including a new leather satchel that I’ll use each day for work. My wife and kids really didn’t need to get me anything. They’ve given me so much already:

boxes-card-celebration-688016–My youngest gave me a wonderful present this fall by working and studying hard in high school without having to be pestered. He came home the first semester with straight A’s and is on track to come home with another great report card this semester. He thinks I don’t recognize how hard high school can be. He thinks that I don’t see all the time that he puts into his work as well as marching band and everything else that he’s involved with after school. He has no idea that I know exactly how challenging the change from middle school to high school can be and that I’m proud of his hard work.

–My middle son gave me a wonderful present by showcasing his strong decision-making and determination. He made the decision this year to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He thought we would be disappointed that he was delaying college. He leaves for for boot camp in a few weeks and we couldn’t be prouder. Oh, of course, we’ll worry, but we’re happy for him that he’s going after a life-long goal to become a Marine.


–Our oldest daughter gave a wonderful present by simply carrying herself with modesty and class. She’s the kindest and hardest working person you would ever want to meet. She’s getting ready to take her own very important steps out into the world and you wouldn’t even know it. She’ll be graduating college this spring, but she’s so modest about her achievements that you have to force them out of her. Her father, on the other hand, has no problems being obnoxious and would shout them from the highest rooftop if he could. In any event, she brightens every room that she enters and is destined for great things.

–My wife gave me a wonderful present by sticking with “my sorry ass” for the past 25 years whether I’ve deserved it or not. Through the best of times, through the worst of times, she remains my soulmate and my compass.

So yes, I feel very fortunate and blessed this Christmas and throughout the year. This Christmas reminds me once again that some presents come without fanfare or wrapping paper and instead come from the heart.

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