The Gift

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By Angel Simmons

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What did YOU ask for this Christmas? I remember growing up when all the excitement surrounded November 1st. THAT was the day we each posted our Christmas lists on the refrigerator. Now, we never expected to get EVERYTHING that we asked for. But we knew at least ONE thing was coming!

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By Christmas Eve, the entire house smelled of vanilla or chocolate or lemon. Everything had a specific color scheme and the tree was full of beautifully (almost professionally!) wrapped presents. And the holiday music was blaring until bedtime. You can tell that we were SERIOUS about making magic at Christmas.

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At the end of Christmas night, the living floor was covered with wrapping paper and name tags and cookie crumbs while we laid around watching some random holiday movie on the TV and drinking fancy hot cocoa with marshmallows and whipped cream. And days later after being unwrapped, those same gifts that we couldn’t wait to write down November 1st still lay under the tree- unless you could eat it or wear it- as a weird offering to the season’s memory.

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One day it finally dawned on me: Christmas wasn’t at all about the PRESENTS… it was all about the PRESENCE. It’s about love and making moments to cherish and to remember every year. Last Christmas I only asked for ONE thing: Time with the person that I loved most. And at the end of the night, I got my gift- laying around, wrapping paper on the floor, watching some random holiday movie on the TV. And I stared at the tree with a tear in my eye, so very grateful that I had learned the lesson. It was the perfect Christmas… not because of anything I got, but because I ended it exactly WHERE I wanted to be with exactly WHO I wanted to be with.

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This year, much to my dismay and certainly not by my choice, the two of us are barely speaking. And unless some miracle happens, the day will be a sad one for me because my Christmas wish is still the same: Time with the one I love most. Because at the end of it all, after the music and the cocoa and the movies, if you don’t have the LOVE, then sadly, you’ve missed the true spirit of Christmas altogether…

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December 24, 2015

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