Our Christmas tree is up. It is very pretty, all gold and red. It sits lit and welcoming in the corner of our living room. Underneath it... empty.
It isn't that we don't have money to buy gifts. It isn't even that we don't have friends and family who will send gifts. We have all that. I know some gifts are on the way from relatives. But we have not bought any for ourselves. We have more money this year than last year. We have more peace. But we have an empty tree.
We've talked about gifts, but no one has come up with any ideas. Not even the kids can think of anything they really want.
I think we learned a lesson this year. We have everything we want. We just can't wrap it and put it under our tree.
Years ago, our family was fractured by stress and relationship problems. This year we have peace. (We even could win the cute couple award!)
Early this year, we thought we might lose our daddy. We have him now.
We are all together, warm, happy, at peace. How do you wrap that? There is nothing more we really want. We are content.
We may not buy gifts this year. We may go to the store and jointly buy a small gift for everyone. We may chose to do something as a family instead. But it is not what is wrapped and under the tree that makes our eyes glitter and our hearts beat. It is the simple joy of curling up by the fire playing cards. Of peace and giggles through the house. A decorated tree and some Christmas cookies.
We have only bought one gift this year. We picked a patient at the old people's home and spoiled him rotten. We got him new socks, a tin of chocolate, a book to write in, some nice smelling aftershave.
We have all we want. This year, our tree is empty, but our hearts are full.