As a child, I often focused on the gifts that I was hoping to receive Christmas morning, and would have much rather stayed at home to play with my toys than have to leave them behind for Christmas dinner. Now, as an adult (somewhat) I feel a larger want to just spend time with my family than to really worry myself about what gifts I am going to receive from others.
As cliché as it may sound, this time of year is about more than just gifts, shopping sales and all the material things that follow. Regardless of your religious denomination and whether or not you even celebrate the holiday season, the holiday times are a really vital time to appreciate your family and those closest to you.
My parents always made a point to tell my sister and me how important family is. They made sure we saw our grandparents often, and a week or two at Papaw and Nana’s over summer was tradition. But, there is something different about the morning of Christmas and getting to wear your new “holiday clothes” to family dinner.
Those dinners always felt like they had a special love involved. It was like a new bond was made among the family every year.
You never know how much longer you have with someone you care about; you never know how many more family dinners you have. I know that is said often in life, but it is very true. Even if you do realize that your time with someone is short, no matter how much time you spend with them it will never be enough.
Over the years, my family has shrunk in size, and a Christmas dinner that used to be about 20 people (that is a lot in a small house) is now down to about eight people. It is a wakeup call sometimes.
You think about who all is going to be showing up, and you realize all the family members that will no longer be there. You always thought you had one more year with them. You held out this piece of optimism that you would have another Christmas or two because the idea of no longer having them around seemed too empty and unreal.
I love my memories of Christmas dinners at my grandparent’s house. Even at 21 years old, I still feel that special love at the holidays among my family. Receiving and giving gifts is a blast, but remember to cherish your family during the holidays. That special love is not something you can receive wrapped in a box; that love only exists in an aunt’s hug, a grandparent’s laugh, sitting in a parent’s lap and the look of excitement shared with a sibling.
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Body Photo By Emily Beaucham