Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best Gift of All

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas with family and friends, I'm looking forward to reading about your celebrations and seeing lots of wonderful photos. If you live in one of those areas hit by the blizzard, I hope you're safe and warm. I talked with family in Atlanta and they had their first White Christmas since 1882 and even the little town of Saint Marys, Georgia where I moved from had a bit of the white stuff floating around. Brrr…but I'm happy to report that our weather here in Tampa Bay was gorgeous on Christmas Day!

My granddaughter went to Orlando with her father, so that left myself, my daughter and my sister to decide what we would do together. This was the perfect year to make it simple and easy and we did just that. I didn't decorate, I didn't bake for days on end, I didn't have to prepare the "feast" and we cut gift-giving to the bare minimum. This was just fine with all of us. Since my sister had decorated her little apartment that is where we planned to spend the day.

Sis put a 13-pound turkey in the oven (so cute, I didn't even know they came that small) and we arrived a couple of hours before it was ready. I brought mac & cheese and since we weren't having cornbread dressing, I baked a cornbread in its place. Sis added mashed potatoes, veggies and a pumpkin pie. Yes, we were in carb heaven and I'll be paying for that over the next few weeks.

Oh, did I mention I came down with a nasty cold? Yep, just before Christmas I caught the cold that is going around. I had been in bed for a few days and with the help of Nyquil, I made it through the day just fine. We talked, watched the Disney Parade and went down to the lake to watch the birds before supper.

Yes, it was a lazy, simple holiday. Then the best gift arrived! For those who don't know, my sister's son has been serving our country in Iraq. He left just before Christmas last year, just a few weeks after his son was born. David came home just before Thanksgiving, but he's stationed in Georgia and I hadn't seen him yet. My sis had spent Christmas Eve with them and I didn't know they would be stopping by on Christmas Day. The best gift this year for me was having my nephew home safe and sound. What else matters? No amount of money could have bought something I enjoyed more than seeing my nephew with his wife, his son and his mother. Our Christmas may have been very simple compared to past years, but it will be remembered as being so special in our hearts.

Yesterday I was at my computer playing around with some of the pictures I took. I thought I would share the results with you today…


My favorite moment — The Hug


My nephew and great-nephew


My sis, so happy watching her family


That's me on the left and my beloved daughter on the right

We each posed by the little ceramic tree that belonged to my mother. Mom loved that tree so much, she bought it in the 70s and we put it out every year in her honor.

I missed having my son present, it breaks my heart that he lives so far away in California. We talked on the phone of Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day. It seems the older I get, the miles that separate us seem longer and I miss him so much.

Our Christmas was simple, but the love of family filled the air and isn't that the best gift of all?

18 Thoughtful Comments:

Lori E said...

Sometimes simple is best for sure. I hope your nephew knows how much others appreciate his sacrifice. Got a tear in my eye when I saw him with his son. Thank you to him.

Sunshinemeg said...

You guys had the right idea this year: simple! Great thinking. It was interesting reading this from your perspective. My mom lives in Ohio and I in Maryland. My only brother lives in California. We were all able to be together this year for the first time in a long time. My mom was so very happy. It's always a challenge with the different schedules to make it work. I'm sorry you weren't with your son, but happy you had a good Christmas. Take care and Merry Christmas to all of those in the hut!

Jane said...

What a wonderful Christmas surprise!!! Tears formed when I saw the photo of your nephew and his little son. (Wish you could have had your son with you, too. Maybe next year...)
Hugs,
Jane

Drawn to The Sea said...

What a precious moment between father & son; they'll treasure that photo forever. Proof positive that it's the simple things that make us the happiest... not the fancy meals, not the ornate decor. As enjoyable as those things are, nothing compares with a simple hug, or a simple phone call from someone you miss so much.

Blondie's Journal said...

Your nephew must have been thrilled to see his son! The pictures are precious. I wish you could spend more time with your son...I would feel the same way you do, especially at the holidays. But it looks like a good time was had by all. I hope your cold is better soon.

XO,
Jane

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Beautiful post Rhonda... seeing your son home with his son and wife makes my heart full too.. and the look on your sister's face.. I think she will burst from happiness... Thanks for reminding us what is most important...

I'm glad you enjoyed your christmas with family and hope you will get to see your son soon also...

Thanks for being such a great friend in 2010... and let's hope 2011 has our name on it!! for all the right reasons!! hahaa... ciao xxxx Julie

CHERI said...

Sounds like you had the loveliest of Christmases, except for missing your son. I hope you get to see him soon. So glad your nephew got to be at home with his family too. Please tell him how much my family and I appreciate his service. I pray all the time that this crazy war will be over soon and that our service men and women will be protected. Sorry you were sick...I can so identify. I was in bed the week before Christmas with a bacterial infection in my neck lymph nodes. Talk about pain!!!! I'm looking forward to 2011 cause 2010 hasn't been my best. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, sweetie!

OceanDreams said...

Christmas with the girls sounds like fun, but sorry you were missing your soon. This was my first year away from family - but it has been nice being with my BK. I hope you have a lovely New Year. Love all of your pictures.

Kaybe said...

Wow, David is all grown up and another cutie grandbaby for your sister to dote on. Love the pics - will the depth of your design skills ever end? Glad you had a good Christmas.

Love ya!

gayle said...

Your Christmas sounds perfect! I have a ceramic tree just like that!

Lindsay-ann said...

That was a wonderful surprise for you all. I loved seeing the pictures of him - so special. Sorry you didn't get to see your son, maybe nexy year ;)
I enjoyed hearing about your Christmas. Sounds perfect. You don't need lots of expensive gifts and decorations to enjoy this day, just people you love surrounding you.
I hear it's quite coldin Florida. I hope it warms up by April!
Happy New Year.
Lindsay
x

Lily Robinson said...

What an awesome Christmas! So glad he returned safe and sound.

I hate all the commercialism, but worse is all the hectic craziness! I don't do any of that stuff. Simple is definitely best when it comes to Christmas.

~KS said...

Merry merry belated Christmas wishes to you my friend!!! Life has been crazy... but I wouldn't trade a second of it for anything!!
So glad to hear you enjoyed the simple (and best) parts of Christmas this year. I am wishing you the best year ever in 2011... happiness, health, and everything your heart could dream of!

Blue Creek Home said...

It sounds like you guys had a perfect Christmas. I am sure a lot of super busy, frustrated folks would have gladly swapped for your relaxing holiday!!!
It is so good that you got to see your nephew and his family. We appreciate what he is doing for our country.
Happy New Year.
Rhonda

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Just wonderful pics Rhonda!
I really loved seeing them and hearing all about your Christmas too!
Happy New Year my friend,
Cindy

CrazyCris said...

What a lovely Christmas!!! completely delightful!

I had an odd Christmas... being in the summer is weird! PLus celebrating Christmas Eve with a party and then strolling on the beach on Christmas Day?! But was lots of fun and great to be with my sis!

Thought of you on the beach... plenty of shells down here! I'll have to get lots of photos of different ones to show you! ;o)

I hope you have a Happy New Year too!!!

hugs!

Loui♥ said...

I don't really know what it was about THIS christmas..
perhaps the first "no snow" Christmas I've experienced since being in Colorado>
It just didn't FEEL right.
I did not set foot into a shopping mall at all.. not even once! despite the continued sales extravaganzas happening almost on a daily basis..
so on Christmas day, our gifts were simple and well thought out..
and instead of rushing hither, thither and yon,,we had a simple dinner, just the two of us and the felines sitting obediently..just anticipating the first dropped morsel! the kids and grands stopped in for presents delivery and exchange..
today am catching up on must accomplish before year's end..
have a wonderfully delightful new year!!
and yes you did receive the very best gift of all..family!
warmest sandy hugs!
loui♥
ps.. please email me.. i'm trying to send you something which keeps being rejected!

Sailing Simply said...

OMG! Yes you did have the same tree! That is too funny! My girlfriends mother in law loved her little ceramic tree too and that is why she and her husband wanted it, to remind them of Ms. Sarah! My friend said they are going for a good bit of money on ebay but she will never sell was just checking to see if she could get another for her mother. Your family photos are wonderful! Looks like you had a great day. Little ones are the best to be around at Christmas. I know you enjoyed seeing your nephew and his family too. It shows!

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!

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