(Post by Evan)
Once again Christmas day is upon us. Weeks of the holiday spirit reached their culmination today. Bright-eyed children (OK, one or two of them weren't quite awake yet) couldn't contain their excitement as the doorbell rang at 8 AM jarring them from their long winter's nap. With their families far away, Arturo Morales and Melissa Bench were at the door and joined us for our family's celebration. I think we've managed to have visitors every year here in New Rochelle since we moved here.
Gleeful smiles were present as the much hoped for gifts were discovered. Who knew something called a DS, or a Speed Racer Hot Wheels "loop-da-loop" could bring so much pleasure? This really was one of the first years when I've felt this excited about Christmas. Seeing through the eyes of your children adds a whole new dimension. And as much as it was about the gifts, it was also about happiness and love. Holding my children in my lap as they helped me unwrap the simple gifts they had for me was a moving and heartwarming experience.
And what would Christmas be without Santa's elf-in-residence, my wife Liz? Not very good. In traditional style she directed the preparation of the Christmas morning feast of "Aunt Dorothy's Sausage Bake," butterscotch pull-apart bread, and orange julius. (Luckily on holidays things like sausage, cheese, butter, etc., have no calories associated with them.) She also came through with flying colors in obtaining all the difficult to find items at the last minute. (You rock, honey!) Even though we didn't go all out with decorations this year, her artful hand added enough holiday cheer to our home.
I know the kids think Christmas is the best holiday of the year. It's easy to see why. I hope that they will learn to see past the tinsel and wrapping paper and want to reach out to others, as did the person who started it all.