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meaning of Christmas

I can’t say that my Christmas this year has been anything other than unusual. Sure, last year I thought things were off when I spent an hour in the car with my wife and dog in white out conditions stranded on a country highway, but compared to this year, that was somewhat normal. I have been trying to redefine what Christmas is and its been pretty tough to be honest.

For years, I thought that Christmas was all about coming home to family and sitting around a table to enjoy a family meal and then over to the tree to exchange gifts. The essence of family was at every turn and with every piece of pie or cup of coffee. Even in our blizzard last year, we were able to spend it with my wife’s family, whether we wanted to or not. We were stuck!

This year I have had to adjust what Christmas means in my head. I have learned more this year that it means loving one another than anything else. Since Christmas Eve, I have spent countless hours being by my dad’s bed in the hospital. I could never have imagined this would be what my Christmas was like, but now in retrospect I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The fact is I am with my family.

It’s been hard on all of to struggle with the idea that Dad will never remember this Christmas, nor do we know when he will get to come home, or if he will. What we do know is that we are family this Christmas, whether in a hospital room or around the dinner table at home.

I wonder if what I am feeling now was a little like what the disciples felt when they were spending their last meal together the night before Jesus was crucified. They sat their laughing, sharing, loving one another has friends and family. They sat with Jesus and they broke bread with him and drank too. They enjoyed every minute of that meal together and while it was their last, they made every second of it count.

So at Christmas, I have learned to spend it with those you love and like the disciples did, make every second count. You never know when it will be the last meal you share.

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