“The greatest gift is the love of a family.” This is inscribed on a little mirrored bear figurine my brother’s family gave me for Christmas this year. Sunday, we finally had an informal Nance Christmas in Wichita. After a nasty bout of vertigo over Christmas, I wasn’t able to attend the regular Christmas gathering this year.
But, in my self-declared year of “silver linings,” we had a delightful, informal time this weekend. And everybody got a bonus — a Christmas in mid-January.
Wednesday is my mom’s birthday, so Saturday we spent some good time together. She hasn’t been feeling well either, so we spent a low-key day hanging out and watching movies. Saturday night we watched some Harry Potter movies — I hadn’t seen them in years and I had forgotten how magical they truly are (see what I did there?).
With my mom and I, everything is an adventure. So, naturally, we ended up at the laundromat Sunday morning before heading over to my brother’s house that afternoon. The day started out with two defective ATMs, but everything in the laundromat worked, unlike the time we went several months ago when the power partially went out and there was smoke coming out of the light fixtures. I remember the day clearly. We were sitting there watch the chaos of people pulling their wet clothing out of the washers, attempting to dry and others had their washers refuse to unlock entirely (yes, we were two of those people). As the lights started smoking, I wondered if we should evacuate, but we all just sat there. It’s still classically hilarious — and so like my mom and I. Like I said, it’s always an adventure with us. But, that’s off-topic.
Sunday brought more gifts at my brother’s house — both in the food variety and in the material variety. My sister-in-law, Amanda, made this amazing crock pot taco recipe with shredded beef. It’s a good thing I don’t live closer or I’d have to go over there and eat it all the time!
As we all ate, talked and played with the baby, I reflected on the gifts I have received this year — the most precious one is time and love — time with the people I love and the people who love me. Those gifts included laughter, heart-to-heart talks and cheering for the football teams during the playoff games.
Some of the greatest gifts in this world aren’t wrapped in a package — they are wrapped in our hearts. For me, those gifts are the most precious of all and even if I won the lottery (and who needs over a billion dollars anyway), it still couldn’t buy me the love of family and friends. Yes, I did play the lottery and I admit I got caught up in the fever, but, I have already won because I have this: the love of a family.