A Gift Unwrapped

unwrappingAfter what seemed like a longer than normal trip, I’ve arrived at the Christmas house.  As I hobbled in the door with my crutches, I knew the concerns about packing, travel and gifting were mostly behind me.  Hugs and puppy kisses took the place of travel stress.

This morning was even better.  There were more hugs as I scooted through the kitchen door interrupting breakfast.  Little boy wonder about my left leg’s new wheels was followed by talk about who had grown taller in the last six months.

Soon the discussion turned to one of the other things that matter greatly in this family—books.  My brother warned me last night that the half-birthday books from 11 months ago had finally hit their mark . . . over and over and over again.   We talked of Percy Jackson and breakfast grew cold.  In an attempt not to leave anyone out we also talked of Big Bad Bunny who I will meet after school today.

As the crew ran out the door for school I realized there was no need to lament the passage of years.  We are past the Fisher Price and Thomas the Tank Engine days, but we’ve arrived at a new and exciting phase of life.  Books have always been important in this family, but it’s starting to be different. That realization led to another.

The Christmas house is still awaiting its transformation from normalcy to Christmasy.  The decorations await liberation.  Presents are squirreled away waiting encasement in wrapping paper and gift bags.  While I love presents and am excited for the surprises that will eventually be under the tree, I’ve already received one of the best gifts ever.

My family is together.

I don’t take it for granted.  I know there are other families that will never spend another Yuletide under the same roof. It’s no secret there are others who won’t celebrate with their biological families, but will gather with the heart family they’ve made for themselves.  I know some are half a world away from their families; although they wish they could be with them, they know they are apart for reasons that transcend common thought.   I once belonged to that group.

This year my family is together.

This year as I soak up life under one roof with six of my most favorite people, I realize God is here.  He permeates so many of our actions.  He gives patience to listen to a 1st grader read and acceptance of the 5th grader who shimmies across the kitchen floor on his back because he can.  God laces joyous laughter  through moments that could be filled with frustrated curtness.  He prompts a helpful hand when reading and rest are preferred.

My family is together.  It’s a gift we’re enjoying.  While most of our presents await the glitz and glitter of their December 25th appearance, we’ve already unwrapped the greatest gift of all—Immanuel, God with us.

photo courtesy of Suzanne Hanlon

I’m participating in Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week she’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith related topic.  Today’s post is my riff on the Christmas jam of “Unwrapping Jesus: Inspiring moments that fill you with God’s love, joy, peace, or hope.” If you’re interested in the notes others added to this Faith Jam, go check out her site and follow the links.)

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