Just prior to heading home for Christmas, I encountered one of life’s twists and turns. My first thought was “my holiday is not off to a good start.” But I was headed home and certain things would brighten. Somehow, being home always lifted my spirit. Upon arrival, just as the plane pulled up to the gate, I could feel the warmth from the outside ooze into the plane and I smiled. Looking out the window, all that could be seen was light.
The sun was shining brightly. I walked briskly to baggage claim and gave my cousin a call. We grew up like sisters and even though I am the oldest, she has always been supportive of me. No waiting, dependable as always, my sister was right there ready to pick me up even though my plane was late. As soon as I got settled in the car, we began chatting and laughing so much that we missed our exit. Neither of us was anxious. She just turned around and we continued catching up. Within minutes, we were at one of our favorite breakfast destinations and the conversation continued. Next stop was my nephew’s condo. Since I was last home, he had gotten a promotion and moved. Opening the door, he greeted me with a big hug, smile, and said, “welcome home, Aunt Pat.” And of course that warmed my heart. I loved his place and was so proud of his accomplishments.
My sister knows me well and knew shopping would not be my first priority. So as we exited the car, she handed over the keys to her “Treasure”(the name of her other car) and said “I know where you want to go.” My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree as I smiled back and said “yes, absolutely!” Without another word spoken, we went our separate ways. She went to take a friend shopping and I headed home. After unpacking, I was in the car enroute to my favorite place- “the beach.” I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. The roaring of the ocean was beckoning and without hesitation I began walking along the shoreline observing an array of birds, feeling the gentle breeze, and soaking in the warmth of the sun. Reluctantly, I pulled myself off the beach so I could head home for dinner. On my way, I reached out to a dear family friend. I always tell her she is the “Martha Stewart” of Daytona because she loves to cook and decorate. She invited me to stop by on my way home. When I pulled up to her house, it was like arriving in winter wonderland. Everything was decorated beautifully- the bay window trimmed with blue and silver lights, angels and other decorative figurines lit up the window, poinsettias lined the walkway, and as soon as she opened the door, Christmas music could be heard throughout the house. Her tree was lit, table all set, and the aroma of home cooked food immediately aroused my senses.“Welcome, home! I’m sure you are ready to eat. I have all of your favorites.“ My eyes twinkled and my stomach grumbled. Yes, I was ready! Just prior to partaking of the food, she thanked God for our friendship and His blessings. I affirmed with a hearty “Amen.” My holiday was off to a happy start after all because I had received the BEST Christmas gift- LOVE!
As you celebrate Christmas, remember to give your family and friends the BEST gift, LOVE! It’s more valuable than anything you can buy in the store and it lasts forever. That’s why I enjoy being home at Christmas, even though my parents are deceased, I still feel the love we shared over the years and their love lifts my spirit. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas too!