It’s been a rough few years at the Humble household.
We’ve lost several irreplaceable loved ones; family, friends and mentors.
And the economy has been less than kind.
In fact, we didn’t do gifts this year, yet we had one of the best Christmases ever.
Despite the lack of wrapping paper, ribbons and bows; our days were spent laughing and cherishing memories of holidays present and past.
Although we can’t replace those who weren’t with us this year, we can honor them in our thoughts and prayers.
Fortunately most of my husband’s extensive family gathered at his parents’ family home. The house came alive as memories were shared, tales were spun and kids wrestled on the floor.
I sat at the long dining room table, at the chair once occupied by my father-in-law, and watched the new memories unfold. I thought how pleased he would be that his home was again filled with laughter.
The sounds of laughter also brightened my home on Christmas Day.
Although there weren’t a myriad of presents under a tree, our home was awash with people – family, friends and adopted family.
It was a surprise gathering that went from an original four to 20 in a matter of hours. My brothers’ children called and said they were coming, bringing guests and a dish.
I come from a family that always welcomed guests. My mother’s motto was always, “Just put another potato in the pot.” No worry.
Despite a broken oven at my house, frozen pipes at a niece’s and various calamities elsewhere, we had a table full of food – a smorgasbord of delicacies.
And as the family laughter rang out, I saw the traces of my brother’s smile and parents’ gestures. That was the best gift ever.
Although there were no electronic presents, we had the joyous gift of a new great-nephew who brightened the day with his smiles, gurgles and new baby smell.
It’s amazing the faces adults will make, or the silly songs they’ll sing to make a baby smile.
That’s a gift you can’t wrap.