Now more than anything at Christmas I want to be surrounded by the love and warmth of family. I love watching my nephews open their presents. I love being the gift giver now; I had my time being the beneficiary of Santa's generosity.
Every Christmas day takes me back, just for a little while, to the days when I'd be opening presents one minute and then joyfully heading off to Grandma's house, or Aunt Jean's or Auntie 'Del's to see my relatives. I couldn't wait to see my cousins, enjoy Aunt Jean's delicious candy cane-shaped butter cookies and watch the grown-ups play cards after dinner. My Grandma and her sisters had the holidays down to a science, and their spreads were enviable. And I can't help but smile when I remember Uncle Dan giving me pennies to play the pinball machine in Aunt Jean's rec room, and how Auntie 'Del's swivel container of poker chips was always a favorite for us kids. (So much for the presents they always had for us under their trees.)
Looking back at those times now, I cherish the memories of the people who came together on those brisk winter days far more than any present. No gift ever would or could be as special as the family that used to be.