This year, I experienced the true spirit of Christmas. Of course, Jesus is the reason for the season and it is because of His love and His works that I was able to have a magical holiday.
With the terrible losses our family has suffered in the last few months, Christmas could have been a very dark and sad time for all of us. But it wasn't.
On Christmas Eve, I had one of those moments like you see in the movies, suspended in time almost. I looked around the room. My 9 month old daughter sitting on her Grandpa's lap. My sister-in-law and her husband, sharing a comfy armchair. A 2 year old cousin happily playing games with his aunts. Our 5 month old Goddaughter in her mother's arms. Relatives sitting around talking and having a beer. Others putting finishing touches on food in the kitchen. A fire in the fireplace and a pile of presents by the tree. I suddenly realized that this happiness and togetherness are the true magic of Christmas. It was in that moment, that I felt the spirit of my mother-in-law. She was with us in that celebration. Smiling down on all of us from heaven. All was right with the world.
On Christmas Day, we spent time with my mom and 2 close family friends. As I watched the joy come over their faces as they watched Marissa play, I knew that my Dad was enjoying the show as well. His spirit was with us too. And again, everything felt right.
The key to all of this lies in a special little girl. She embodies the spirits of her grandparents and the magic of Christmas. She brings light to a family who has had it's share of darkness. She brings hope and new beginnings where there has been despair and endings. Like baby Jesus, Marissa let all of us experience Christmas in it's purest form--as something shiny and new.
Thank you, my sweet daughter for giving us this wonderful and precious Christmas present.
Merry Christmas everyone!