Despite the commercialism that has all but usurped the real meaning of Christmas, I never forget the gift of salvation,
forgiveness, mercy, peace, and grace as a result of my Heavenly Father's gift of Himself in human forum as a real, perfect,
and sufficient sacrifice as absolution for the sins of mankind. Whatever your traditions this time of year may be, I
hope Christians, at least, acknowledge this Gift of Christ.
My tradition begins on Christmas morning. I wake early as usual and light all the candles in the house.
This results in a "loo loo loo" moment. (The "loo loo loo" comes from the A Charlie Brown Chrismas
. Specifically the part in which the kids 'get it' and begin humming, loo loo loo, the the melody of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
). Then my wife wakes up and basks in the "loo loo loo" moment with me. This is followed by poking fun at the pathetic
Christmas special on KXAS that features b-list celebrities singing Christmas songs. Just prior to the point of nausea,
we change the channel to something benign like CNN. We watch about 30 minutes of this while we enjoy our first cup of
coffee. Then we have a small stocking gift exchange which entails fun to open, often silly, gifts and candy
. "Santa" brought us Gears of War 2
for the XBox 360. Then, the dogs receive their gifts (bones).
Around noon, we go to my parents home. We have a peaceful, orderly, gift exchange, in which we sit in a circle
and, one-at-a-time, we each open one gift. This method allows everyone to see what was opened. We love it this
way because it draws it out.
I received from my parents, cash
! My nephew got me a Wal-Mart gift card that I've already
cashed in for The Dark Knight on Blu-ray. My
brother and sister-in-law and their kids, got me a hunter green bath mat set
. My current set was worn out and I searched all over for hunter green
to continue with the theme of my restroom, but apparently this color is not as popular as it used to be. My sister gave
me Kill Bill volumes 1 & 2 on Blu-ray. Awesome picture quality and an awesome movie!
Following the gift exchange, my family has a tradition of an awesome seafood dinner courtesy of my Mom. She works
hard on this meal, and it shows. It's truly an all-you-can-eat buffet. Here's just a sampling of some of the beautiful
fried shrimp, scampi, and crab legs:
This year, we started a little earlier in the day with our gift exchange. This meant the meal was a little earlier,
lending more time afterwards to just sit around and talk. That was nice, and I suspect, we'll continue with that tradition.
And now, as for the gift for myself? Time off from work to spend at home with my wife...