Today, I traveled up to Knoxville to see my family. We spent the evening over a nice steak dinner and a candlelight church service. It was a beautiful reminder of the important things in life. Some of my favorite memories growing up were the traditions that my family has on Christmas. We would all sit down on Christmas Eve for dinner together, go to the candlelight church service, then sit wide awake in our beds all night until we saw the slightest glimpse of daylight. Then, my sister and I would wake up and jump on my brother's bed screaming Merry Christmas!!!! My mom would always make us wait on the top of the stairs until everything was ready. This always included an annual groggy-morning picture which was a joy to participate in. Finally! Christmas!!! We would all run down the stairs to our specific seat on the couch, stocking in hand. One of my favorite parts each year was going one at a time watching each other open Christmas presents. A warm feeling of joy rises inside me each time I see someone I love thrilled at what they unveil under the wrapping paper.
This year is extremely special because it is my last Christmas morning at home. My siblings have both been married and out of the house for a while, so it has been a few years since we were all sitting on the stairs together waiting on Christmas. However, even though they aren't here today, I'm remembering those times and excited about the new traditions we have ahead.
For your Christmas entertainment, a few pictures of Ranger enjoying his first Christmas: