It's ten o'clock on the night before Christmas celebrations begin in our family (Jess's family does Christmas Eve as the big family gathering).
We sat by a fire, watched a classic Christmas movie, and wrapped the remainder of our presents. We smiled with satisfaction at a job well done, and tried not to make too many guesses at what might be hiding under the tree for us both.
I know that tomorrow I will witness all that is wonderful about Christmas, as well as some of the unpleasantness it can foster. I will see a family full of love and insanity, understanding and pettiness. It's a crazy set of contradictions which boggles the rational mind but reminds me each year of how fortunate I am to have married into such a wonderfully large and loving family.
And I will hug each of my nephews and nieces all the tighter tomorrow, as I read today of an online acquaintance whose child died today, on her third birthday, from a disease called Transverse Myelitis. And I will treasure the time I spend with each member of our extended family, thinking of a man I play computer games with regularly who travels across the country this week to celebrate the holidays with a terminally ill relative who will not see next Christmas.
The world turns, the seasons change, and our lives fill with inexplicable joy and sorrow. Devour the days you have.
Merry Christmas, everyone.