Driving by all the homes already lit up with Christmas lights was uplifting. Doors were open, curtains wide, and families were gathered 'round tables, laughing and passing hoards of casseroles, biscuits and salt and pepper shakers. It is a warm time of year. Even men and women all alone in apartments and small rental houses seem a bit more cheerful--their canned cranberry sauce, small rotisserie turkeys and bottles of wine are their family. They sit close to the television set in the favorite chairs watching their favorite television programs. I would feel sorry for their time alone, but they may prefer it. Their stories are just as unknown to me as the other full houses I passed earlier.
No matter their stories; tonight, what matters is mine. It is my family for which I am thankful, and everything else with which I have been blessed. Through all the heartbreak and hardship, I would never think of trading them for another. Even when I am desperately trying to fight back the urge to stab one of them in the back of the hand--sometimes throat--with my fork--sometimes turkey prongs, depending on which is in my hand at the time. It is this time of the year where the decay of autumn is followed by the winds of new life, waiting to bloom in the months to come; bleeding colors of orange, red and yellow. The browning edges of leaves crippling beneath the lack of rain. All is calmer. The food is warmer when the air is not. The people are friendlier, particularly when they know who is feeding them.
I love this time of year, if it is not apparent. I am just thankful my loved ones and I are together to enjoy it.