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Another Excuse to Gather With Family
T he weekend after Thanksgiving, the Christmas season kicks into high gear almost immediately. At our house, the tree goes up, lights and all. Meanwhile, the kids set up their kids-only artificial tree in the other room, going wild decorating it with their own ornaments. Of course, I laugh, because by the next day, my wife has already rearranged it (she doesn’t want anything too crazy out in the family room for everyone to see). This year, we’re hoping to get my three siblings and all their kids out to our house for Christmas Eve. By now, the big pre-Christmas get- together has become a genuine tradition. Though where we meet may vary, it’s always a great time gathering and cracking each other up with old stories. The kids might appreciate the time even more. Including my kids, it’s a crew of 10 children, with most of them between the ages of 10 and 15. As you can imagine, they have a blast together as they horse around and play games. It’s heartening to see
Though, I do have to say, it wasn’t nearly the number of presents the kids are getting these days! I mean, we did fine — it wasn’t like we wanted for anything growing up, but I look around at the Christmas Day chaos these days and wonder what kind of expectations we’re setting for the future. It also gets a little more complicated as our kids turn into tweens and teens and start asking for more expensive presents. After all, drones and iPhones are a little bit bigger asks than basketballs or dolls. In addition to the standard, required presents of socks and underwear, we’ll throw in some small things to make sure nobody feels shortchanged. I say I worry about spoiling the kids, but with how fun it is to watch their excitement as they dig through their presents, it’s hard not to. Really, though, the best part about the holidays is spending time with family. We make a point to hang out as much as possible with each other. Next year, I’m hoping to have even more fun experiences with family, including mountain biking with my son (especially while I can still outrace him), ski trips, and more national park visits for all of us. It’s easy to take all the time we have together for granted, but Christmas opens your eyes and makes you realize just how special these moments are. No gift I could receive this Christmas could possibly compare.
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the next generation getting along so well. It makes you feel like maybe you’ve done something right. Growing up, we always had a similar gathering, with all the cousins coming over for the big celebration. We’d all get to open a single gift on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas morning, we’d come downstairs to the crazy spread of wrapped presents and get to work.
Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 1 -Julian Manrique
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