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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve...




















Well here we are. Well, here I am, in front of the fire while munchkin is in her room sleeping.

At least I think she's sleeping. She could be watching On-Demand Care Bear movies.

Really.

She's got full-on Comcast in her rock-star suite, and, well, she told me on the drive back from the Poconos, where we visited my parents for about 18 hours give or take - that she ordered some movies On-Demand.

I don't care. It's Christmas.

But I hope it's not a precursor of things to come!

It's so good when she's here. You know, her mom and I share her pretty much 50/50. We are both 100 percent parents, but up until she started Kindergarten, she was here for 1/2 a year and there for 1/2 a year  and she did most of the school year with me up until now, so it gets pretty lonely for a daddy when she's not here.

But when she is here it's so amazing. Hearing her play in her rock-star room with her toys... hearing her laughing aloud at movies, Animal Planet, etc is just so...

... well, it feels like home. She and I have a pretty special and amazing bond as a daddy and daughter, and I feel almost complete. I say almost because there's probably a piece to the puzzle that is missing or something. But it feels pretty good - and fulfilled to have her here. At our home in our Nation's Capital. At least for a little bit.

She's funny. On the way back she was already planning our next adventures for her next visit.

"I'm telling my mommy that I need to be back with you daddy in January so you can pick me up in the HOT Hummer Truck again and so we can play in the snow..."

I laughed but she was serious. "I'll write Kim at your work a note and ask her if you can have the hummer truck again and give it to you to give to her..."

I bet she writes it in the morning.

I do regret that the weather tossed a wrench into the plans. I had wanted to take Kyla to Massachusetts to see her Cousin, her Uncles Todd and Ryan, her Auntie Erin, her Grandparents and more of her family which kick it in the New England states. But alas it was not to be. And it bothers me a bit.

See, there's nothing more important than family, at least to me, at Christmas. Considering that the Christmas story is the story of the origin of a larger spiritual family, I think the holiday as we know it now, has lost a bit of it's soul.

I'm not going to get preachy, but I do have a thought to share on this. And it's on my heart, and this is my blog, after all, so I'm going to share if you don't mind.

See, Christmas is not about gifts or presents. It's not about retail madness and a rush to get the biggest and best things. It's not about a dollar figure assigned to a person for a present and it's not about parties and events and phony friendships which are so totally exposed as such around a dinner table.

It's about family. I think we've gotten away from this a bit. It's about spending time with those closest to you - who are completely honest with you and who have been there for you no matter what. About spending time saying a silent "thanks for being who you are" in my world as a father, mother, son, daughter, cousin, niece or nephew or uncle. It' about giving something simple because that simple something is what counts most. Not a gift from Tiffany and Company, although that is nice, or some other gift which you really can't afford.

You see, once upon a time, as the story goes, a Father sent his Son to the world to serve as the most precious gift that any one could possibly give. And that Son came to the world to give us a gift that - well - honestly, trumps any gift you think you might be able to give or receive at any point during this life you and I live.

And to give us that gift, that only Son of the Father made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have this gift that - well - honestly - is worth so much more than we can ever fathom.

So while presents are nice, and jewelry is shiny. While material things are great for a season, and while diamonds are pretty much timeless, they're pretty much meaningless when it comes to the gift we were given when that Father sent his son to be born on this holiday we now celebrate... And when you think about it, what we've already been given is pretty much the best gift you could ever hope to receive... from anyone....

... that is, if you choose to believe as I do. If you do, then you know why this day is special for us. Just as  so many other high holy days are special to so many countless others. If you don't, well, you can ask someone who celebrates Christmas for what it should be - a solemn celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and for the story which this birth brings with it.

Let those who have ears to hear... hear! LOL! SO LET it BE WRITTEN!

Regardless of what your faith may be - as that is indeed a very personal thing between you and your creator - I hope that your family and friends find the peace and joy that I've found in these last few days with my family.

And when I say family, yes, I mean family. Even though it's immediate at times, extended at others, non-traditional and traditional and at times just weird. All in all -- it's family.

Merry Christmas Eve. You may now go back to last minute online shopping...

Toby

PS - I am not sure if I'll be able to do a FBJ Podcast tomorrow. He's in Vegas, and I'm East Coast and I fly at noon so... unless I can find a place to tape in Tampa tomorrow OR if I can call him from DC pretty early in the AM Vegas time, it might not happen... I'll let you know! Imma tweet him now...