continued from girlfriend reminisces...
The ride home from the grandparent's house was always a trip the girlfriend enjoyed. It took 30-40 minutes but was all on a few bigger streets and side streets - no freeways. It was always late at night, near midnight. Usually there wasn't much conversation in the car. It felt like a reverent silence for all the passengers as they stared out the car windows at all the Christmas lights and decorations. A time for inner reflection.
Of all the Christmases the girlfriend can remember, there is one that will forever remain as one of her favorites. It was a year when the girlfriend had her own apartment and lived by herself. As the car pulled up to boyfriend's house, his mom asked the girlfriend if she wanted to spend the night.
That one question could have been considered the best Christmas gift the girlfriend received that year. Of course, she said yes. She slept on the couch but felt it was more comfortable than her own bed. Maybe it was the gratitude she felt or the love that was extended to her that had her smugly tucked under the blanket and reflecting on the family that she had grown to love as her own.
As much as she loved falling asleep where she did, waking up where she did was even better. It was Christmas morning. There was the smell of cinnamon rolls baking and the anticipation of the day hanging in the air. Everyone grabbed a mug of hot chocolate and made their way into the family room where the tree displayed the wonderful abundance of gifts.
Besides the kitchen, the family room was the most used room in the house. Dad sat in "his" chair; a well worn recliner. Everyone else seemed to have their "regular" place where they sat. The girlfriend sat on the fireplace hearth, which was a bench in itself. There was a fire blazing and when there was a fire, this was her favorite place in the entire house.
As she participateed in the opening of gifts, she shared in the traditions of the family. Opening one gift at a time while everyone else watched. There was genuine appreciation as each person would get up and hug the person that gave the gift. The warmth the girlfriend felt was not just physical. It was the warmth of love that seeped into her bones and touched her heart in a way that she will never forget.
The girlfriend received the best gift that year and it wasn't anything she unwrapped.
link of the day: