I remember Christmas when my kids were little, real little. In our first house we had three Christmas trees one year. One on each floor of the house. The one in the living room was over fifteen feet tall. My brother had to come over after it fell one night when Tim was working. He ended up tethering it to the railing of the upstairs dining room with a rope, after pulling little TJ up and down with the rope several times.
We moved to Newnan when Massey was almost three. I bought the biggest tallest tree I could find every year. We had a high ceiling in the new living room.
Every year, Tim came outside to help drag it in the house for me, after shaking his head at how big a tree I'd bought (again).
Then after finally wrangling it into the house, got in an argument every single year about which was its good side and why was it leaning that way when he could just unscrew it from the stand, let me turn it while he lifted the hundred pound tree and then screw it back in so it would be straighter?
Is that really too much to ask?
I'll never forget the year Zach said "It wouldn't be Christmas without the annual tree fight."
He was so right.
It was a great Christmas last year. Turned out to be the last in our home of over twenty years, but one of the best we ever had.
I was banging out bucks at work like I had a job printing money with nobody looking. Tim was living a thousand miles away but moving up quickly with his own new job.
We were coming out of a ten year struggle which almost killed not only us but our marriage.
But it didn't.
This selfie was taken at the airport the day Tim left for almost two years in Lubbock away from everyone he loved to take care of them.
Would I want to go through those past ten years again?
You do what you have to do.
We had some mighty slim Christmas' for some mighty slim years and then some. But Christmas still happened, albeit on a shoe string.
I'll never forget the Christmas, while still working at LongHorn and broke as bad jokes. We couldn't even afford to pay the utilities much less buy a tree. I was at work when one of the kids called me and said "A bald headed man just brought us a Christmas tree to our front door!"
It was one of the cooks I worked with.
Come to think of it, maybe that was the best Christmas ever.
Here's my thinking.
The Grinch was right.
I don't have a lot of money to spend on Christmas this year but have more Love than ever before and is the greatest gift of all to give, especially this time of year.
I've lived from one end of the spectrum to the other and consider myself a well traveled person.
Tim and Massey went and shopped together the the other day while I was working. Have no idea what they bought but feel confident since Massey was there.
I'm going old school this Christmas.
My biggest single purchase this Christmas season will be groceries for my dinner for a few friends I've made since moving here.
My one Italian forte' is that I cook a mean lasagna. Baking one for my new friends (excited to even have some) and having them over to eat, relax, drink and be Merry.
Baking another and freezing it to take to my brother's house on Christmas Day.
Food is the best present a hungry body could ever want or have.
Just ask Ethiopia or Allepo.
Look into your own heart this Christmas and think of ones who desperately need to be loved, and include them.
Love begins with the simplest gesture but speaks volumes when sincerely given.
As defined by Webster's...
"A deep, tender feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from a kinship or a sense of oneness."
We are one, like it or not.
You may be pro this or anti that, but in the long run doesn't matter.
What matters is that we need to love and embrace each other.
Never judge unless you want to be judged. (and's rarely a pretty picture)
Here we are...
Enjoy your Season and I'll enjoy mine.