I’m sitting at the dining room table, bearing witness to a typical Christmas scene: My nephews have torn into all their gifts and are now in the throes of interacting with them. Brandon is putting together a 400-piece Lego set on the living room floor. He’s an 11-year-old, hipster version of Master Bruce Wayne, clad in his black and white, skeleton bathrobe, red and black plaid pajama bottoms, red- flannel slippers and a t-shirt with a bear in a cowboy hat that says ” Crime Buster”.
Spencer is plodding around in his gray-fleece bathrobe, bare-legged, sneakers barely on his feet, slamming the back door each time he goes outside to shoot his paint gun against the trunk of the willing dead tree in the backyard. We’re all engaged in our own projects, but Spencer wants to know if anyone wants to go outside and watch him “blow off some steam.” This kid is a riot.
The boys’ father, Shawn, sits on the couch, hooking up the new WII U System, while their mother – my sister, Tammy – tries to program her all-in-one home stereo system. “How come I can’t figure this out?” she calls out every once in awhile. Or, “Wait. What the hell just happened?”
Of course, we all know what I’m doing.
Technology has transformed the way we live over the past 20 years and we’re way past the Christmas mornings of days gone by, where the only requirement was that parents didn’t forget to buy the necessary batteries.
A few other things, however, will never change: Children’s excitement on Christmas morning; adults’ excitement at watching the children’s excitement; the thrill of tearing into (or respectfully opening, if you’re an adult) any gift that comes your way; and, if you’re a kid, the Hamilton, Jackson, Grant or, miracle of all miracles, the rare Benjamin that might grace an envelope, allowing for the Christmas miracle to continue.
Mainly, though, in lieu of all of this stuff, the true miracle of Christmas, in my opinion, is the gift of this season which brings families and people together who might otherwise stay apart.
Overall, this is a scene of gratitude and togetherness and that’s what I’m most thankful for today.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU.
Sandra Claus Frank
P.S. As I close out this post, my sister Tammy has called out “What the hell?” at least three more times and has elicited an actual swear word, which she almost never does. Yet, with her high level of patience, I’ll bet she could sit there all day long figuring out how to program that system.
P.P.S.: I got distracted by a few Lindt chocolate candies. Tammy’s all-in-one system is now up and running.
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