The Smiles of the Season

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Grandpa & Grandma – Christmas 1985.

Christmas Day at my grandparents’ house was always a chaotic scene. My cousins and I had the attention span of caffeinated squirrels, shredding through presents like we were scavenging precious nuts for a long winter. Wrapping paper flew every which way as we raced to discover the toys awaiting us. Only two things could possibly interrupt the commotion:

  1. The terrified discovery of socks or sweaters.
  2. A momentary pause to yell out “THANK YOU!” for the gift we just opened (we may have been wild, but we still remembered to mind our manners).

As much as we delighted in opening presents, we ended up missing the greatest gift of all: the smiles on Grandpa and Grandma’s faces. They absolutely LOVED our euphoria. For them, it truly was more blessed to give than receive.

The fourth grade version of me was too naive to pay much attention to those smiles. But as an adult, that’s all I remember. I can’t tell you what toys I received. I can’t tell you what the wrapping paper looked like. But I can tell you all about those mile-wide grins.

As we celebrate Christmas today, may we all remember the gifts that never need assembly or AA batteries: the moments spent with those we love.

Merry Christmas!

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