365 eves ago

I want to say the holidays are always a mess. But they're not. They are just--hmmm, how do I say it?

We have never had a lot. We haven't. But I have always said that we always have enough to share. And sometimes the dinner is a little crazy. Not quite cohesive, but I will gladly empty my pantry to welcome a guest.

We have a joke in my family that my Grandpa could stretch a pork roast to feed whoever showed up. And I have always loved that. That even a little was enough to go around.

Yesterday morning, I love that Maggie thought nothing of inviting a friend for Christmas dinner.

"Mom," she called me from a girlfriend's house. "Bryce has nothing to do on Christmas. I invited him to our house."

Knock. Knock. Knock. At the tail end of unwrapping presents we heard the knock.

"Mason's here," we knew without even opening the door. He's the only one who knocks like that. And suddenly there he was! My other sweet boy, Will's very best friend. Unannounced, but so treasured.

We have a joke that Mason always shows up right before the meal. Like that neighbor on a sitcom. It was always like that through high school as well, when he lived three-or-so doors down from us. And always, always, we have enough to share. Today, we laugh at old memories. Rehash forgotten conversations. Such a joy!

Such a special gift to be a place where people gather. Where people know there is a plate, a place at the table. I am sure I wished for many things in my life. Hoped for dreams and journeys and destinations and accomplishments. And I did. I do. Even still.

The ancient Egyptians have an interesting belief about the afterlife. They believe when you get to heaven you will be asked two questions, and the answers will determine your ultimate destination: Did you find joy in your life? And: Did you bring joy to others?

I overheard Bryce say something to Maggie over dessert--and I want to say it was something like, "The Christmas spirit is totally in this house." Those may not have been the exact words--but something like that would have been so perfectly, ridiculously Bryce.

And I want to count my blessings right this second. Because I don't know if I am joyful or if I bring joy every day. But this day? Today, I want to say the answers would both be yes.

Merry Christmas night, all.

~originally published December 2020

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