Sunday, December 30, 2012

Third Best Gift

I don't care if it sounds hackneyed, contrived, trite or provincial: the two best gifts are 1) family, and 2) the opportunity to spend time with them.

Even in a motel room, with only a miniature tree, and hastily improvised decorations.

Even when there aren't enough seats, so you have to open your gifts on a bed.

Even when your sister is distant, and can only participate by phone. (But you take pictures of your mum opening gifts and email them to her so she she can see them before she is even off the line!)

Even when you have to sing for your Christmas supper, as Fenya did for the pot luck at Mum's RV park.

Even when you have a thirteen hour drive across the mountains, and only a day's respite before getting to cook Thismas dinner (similar to Christmas dinner, but served after the fact) for two sisters and their families, but can not only pull it off, but look elegant while doing so.

But actual factual gifts can be fun too. Like this Nerf Mjolnir I got in my stocking!

Or this hand painted bowl my nephew lugged back from Mexico for me.

But if I was forced to pick a single coolest gift, it would probably have to be this t-shirt my sister picked up while we were in Jasper together for Thanksgiving:

One of my favourite sentiments, even if it is particularly topical during the holidays. Dad was fond of saying it, along with aphorisms such as "Attitude determines altitude" and the like. His absence is felt particularly sharply as the year draws to a close and family is near, but we will make it through, strengthened and comforted by each other in turn, the way he clearly would have wanted, and enjoying all the myriad gifts we get from each other.

Merry Thismas, and Happy New Year to all my friends and relations, near and far. May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk, until we meet again.

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