Presence for Christmas

For the last four days, I left my computer untouched.  No work.  No writing.  No preparing for class.  Instead, I focused on intentionally resting from work and being present with family.  Even with all the hours on the road for our Christmas travels, I did not touch my computer.

The sky did not fall.

I paid attention as we rolled passed Cypress trees draped with Spanish Moss and bayous.  When we reached  the Piney Woods of East Texas, I thought of my sweet friend Sharon.  When we drove north of Dallas, I looked south toward my momma’s house and cried for a few minutes because I miss her–not just because we won’t be with her this year on Christmas like we usually are–but also because Alzheimer’s has robbed her of so many things she loved, like going on family trips.

I read some.  I laughed some. I listened to silly conversations.

A tumble weed rolled down a sidewalk in West Texas, and we all laughed.  When snow started falling, we celebrated, knowing we would have a white Christmas–a first for my family.

Mike and I spent Christmas Eve re=leaarning how to ski, watching my extended family swoop down the mountain much more gracefully than we do.  Did you know you have muscles in your toes that can get sore?  This Christmas  we chose to give this trip to our family instead of lots of presents.  Every meal, every laugh, every game, even the tumbles I’ve taken off the ski lift feels like unwrapping another present.

For Christmas, we read the Christmas story, a version that consolidates of all four gospels.  We have spent time praying together.  We filled one another’s stockings and took family pictures in our pajamas.

This morning while the family slept just a bit later than I did, I opened my computer.  I reminisced over how much joy I’ve had and been fully present to enjoy and came to a decision

It’s time to close the computer and go sledding–and give presence.

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