It's Christmas Eve morning and I'm writing to you from Middleburg, Fla. - home sweet home. More like home busy home. We've been running around like crazy trying to get the house ready for the annual Christmas family onslaught. As much work as we put into it, I wouldn't have it any other way. I know there are many people who dread the holidays because they have to spend them with their families, but I love Christmas Day with my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and assorted friends.
For my entire life, we've done Christmas this way. After the immediate family opens presents and has breakfast, the rest of the crew heads over for lunch. My cousin Chris usually shoots me with whatever new toy gun he has and I can always count on cousin Daniel to put me in a headlock or lift me over his head as soon as I see him. We can also guarantee at least one FSU vs. UF hollering match between us. Uncle Jerry tells hysterical and inappropriate stories as Monga and Papa wipe the tears of laughter from their eyes. Aunt Peggy animatedly discusses the Jaguars' latest victories and defeats and Dad is usually somewhere in the background cooking meat. Mom is telling me to whip up some this or that, or find some napkins or wash the dishes - and usually on Christmas I try to comply with little sass. We all end up convening over the coolest toy of the day, be it an RC car or Guitar Hero or whathaveyou, taking turns and just enjoying one another's company.
Weird though they (we) are, I know how blessed I am to have such a wacky yet lovable family.
I'll be going to bed early tonight to wait for Santa. The annual Christmas Morning Wakeup Competition is mine to win (again!) if I can just pull myself out of bed around 3 a.m. Let me explain that a little better. Every year, the person who wakes up first on Christmas morning has to get out of bed, turn on the tree and Christmas lights, start a pot of coffee, turn on the Christmas music and videotape him or herself saying something like "I win again, you suck profusely and I will always be the champion of this game!" Then the winner wakes everyone else up and Christmas begins. After reading the Christmas story in Luke 2, we dive into the presents and are usually finished with gifts and breakfast by 7 a.m. Afterwards, I fall asleep in my pile of bounty and wait for the rest of the family to arrive.
Enjoy your Christmas time and remember: just because I unashamedly love presents doesn't mean I've forgotten why we celebrate. It's Jesus' birthday so don't forget to wish him a happy one tomorrow! (And read Luke 2 for the beautiful Christmas story!)