The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
Today is Christmas Eve and a special day for our family as we will continue a tradition we started about forty years ago when for the first time we dined with our next door neighbors on the night before Christmas. We have been doing so every year since, even though we no longer are neighbors. They have become part of our extended family and we now share the spirit with three generations of our combined families each year.
There will be no Daily tomorrow as we will spend the day with our immediate family enjoying each other as we get to again realize that the greatest gift we receive each year is the love we feel for each other. If I recover from all the food and celebration I will return on Friday. I hope all our readers without regard to their religion will join me in appreciation of those who give us the gift of their friendship.
Here is a story I would like to share with you, it was written by Joseph M. Rebeck and describes the real value of what we have to give.
The Perfect Christmas Gift
As a young child I can always remember running down the steps on Christmas morning and looking around the tree for the biggest box. I always believed that within the biggest box lied the most expensive gift and best gift. But as time works its magic on the mind and soul of a young man, I soon realized that each and every gift was special, unique, and meaningful.
In fact, those presents that I remember most are the gifts that came directly from the heart, such as one of my mother's handmade sweaters or scarves. Christmas truly is not about the gift itself, but rather the thought behind the gift!
This Christmas I have already been blessed to receive the most beautiful and amazing present in the world, my girlfriend Angela. But I know the true meaning of Christmas is found in the word "giving." So, this Christmas I promised myself to search and find the most incredible gift for this most incredible girl.
I spent many days searching the crowded stores and scanning numerous holiday catalogs, but nothing seemed to stand out. As Christmas quickly approached I wondered if I would ever find that "perfect" gift. I decided to try the local mall one last time. Maybe I had missed a store or new merchandize had just hit the racks and shelves.
But as I quietly passed from one store to the next, nothing attracted my eye. Somewhat defeated, I slowly made my way to the mall exit. But before I could reach the doors, I suddenly found that "perfect" gift. No, this gift was not found in a fancy and expensive department store. It will not be wrapped in pretty Christmas paper and adorned with ribbons and bows. Actually, this gift doesn't have a receipt and can't be taken back.
So, where did I find this "perfect" gift and more importantly what is it? I found it in the eyes of an elderly couple holding hands, I heard it in the playful words between a grandfather and grandson, and I saw it in the actions of a proud new mother. Yes, the gift is LOVE.
Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.
As a little girl climbed onto Santa's lap, Santa asked the usual, "And what would you like for Christmas?"
The child stared at him open mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: "Didn't you get my E-mail?"
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday(tm), practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . . and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2015, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual orientation of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
All I Need To Know I Learned From Santa
1. Encourage people to believe in you.
2. Always remember who's naughty and who's nice.
3. Don't pout.
4. It's as much fun to give as it is to receive.
5. Some days it's ok to feel a little chubby.
6. Make your presents known.
7. Always ask for a little bit more than what you really want.
8. Bright red can make anyone look good.
9. Wear a wide belt and no-one will notice how many pounds you’ve gained.
10. If you only show up once a year, everyone will think you're very important.
11. Whenever you're at a loss for words, say "HO, HO, HO!"
Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display--so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.
Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...
Norman Wesley Brook
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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