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A Very Folgers Christmas

Remember those sappy Folger's coffee commercials that appear around the holidays?  You know, the ones where the son can't come home for Christmas, but he shows up Christmas morning in time to awaken the family w/ the smell of  fresh-brewed coffee.  Though it wasn't Christmas morning, you could have made a commercial out of our holiday this year. 

After spending Christmas all by my lonesome last year (as I whined about eloquently discussed in my journal last year) I determined to spend the holiday w/ my family this year.  I requested time off 6 months in advance.  Since they live in the frozen north and I'm in the south, we planned to rent a house at the beach for the week.  I had things pretty well planned out.  But you know what they say about best-laid plans... That coupled w/ my family's propensity for passivity and non-commitment as well as other extenuating circumstances (i.e. my dad's health), my family decided at the last minute that they couldn't travel this year.  Well, needless to say I was pretty bummed.  I had decided I couldn't make the trip due to my commitments at work - I had to be able to get back. 

I changed my mind.  I was able to wrangle an extra day off so that I'd have a little leeway for travel and girded up my loins to make the 13 hr drive.  I just neglected to tell the folks that I was coming.  The trip was made infinitely more bearable w/ the anticipation of my parent's reaction when I showed up on their doorstep unannounced.  It was better.  I made 'em cry. 

Now, I don't say all this to pat myself on the back and say "Look at what a good daughter I am!"  The whole experience was a smack upside the head that reminded me of the true spirit of the season.  I was put out by the fact that things didn't go my way.  My family didn't come to me so my holiday would be nice.  How selfish!  I was so humbled that my simply being here could make my folks so happy.  I don't deserve their gratitude.  What's a little inconvenience compared to spending time with the important people in your life while you can?  It's the simple things.

Moral of the story:  Your presence is a greater treasure than any presents could be.

Happy Holidays!