My living room looks like the aftermath of a Christmas Wrapping Paper factory explosion. Santas are torn in half, reindeer mauled and snowmen reduced to puddles of afterthought. For days they were safe under the tree, admired as they reflected the colored lights above them. Now, it is merely a barrier to be shredded in order to retrieve the prize inside. Ribbons are ripped, tags are tossed and paper plowed through as the gifts are brought to life. Stockings are dumped, candy unwrapped, and I already need another cup of coffee. It’s Christmas! It’s finally arrived. I’ve waited long enough. The fat old man - no, not me - with the red suit has made his magical appearance and the anticipation has been brought to an ecstatic end.
My dad is more meticulous when it comes to discarded wrapping paper. Before any package is touched, he grabs a large Hefty trash bag and has it opened beside him. As each gift is opened, the paper is wadded up and tossed inside out of the way. You’re probably thinking my father is a neat freak with OCD tendencies and you’re partly right. He is constantly going around the house tidying up, picking up after the rest of us slobs, but that’s not the reason he does it. Years ago, my Uncle Billy bought Aunt Peggy an expensive diamond ring, which was oooed and ahhhed over before being placed to the side for the next gift. Paper was everywhere as excited children dug into their loot and when it was all done, clean up duty commenced. However, when all was spic and span, the diamond ring was gone, somehow mixed in with all of the pieces of wrapping paper. Everyone scoured the area and the trash was sorted through, but the ring was never found. Thus, my dad is the paper police Christmas morning, and the gifts have been safe ever since.
The Christmas paper this morning will be safely tucked away as toys are played with and new games explored. Already, the house is beginning to smell like Christmas dinner as the girls all pitch in to make everything perfect. Everyone is happy with their gifts, those they received as well as those they gave. A nap will be called for, of course, as an early morning saw all eyes awake before coffee could be brewed. Family will pop in and out, perhaps a friend or two. It’s Christmas and for today, at least, the troubles of yesterday and tomorrow are forgotten. We’re not thinking of bills or work or fights that could have been avoided. Today it’s about healing, peace, and family.
So on this day my wish for you is that you slow down and enjoy the love of those around you. Ignore the little things that may annoy you and focus on the bigger picture of family and friends together. Savor the laughter and each embrace and say, “I love you,” with each “Merry Christmas.”
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