After The Presents

By Joseph J. Mazzella • December 16, 2014

When I was a boy I used to look forward to Christmas morning with all the eager anticipation of a child. I couldn't wait to crawl under the tree, pull out my presents, and rip off the paper. Yet, the best part of the day came after the presents. Once those presents were opened I would spend hours reading the books I got with pure pleasure and playing with the toys I got with joyful abandon. Yet, the best part of the day came after playtime. Christmas dinner at our house was more often than not an Italian style feast fit for a king with spaghetti in slow cooked tomato sauce full of meatballs, steak, potatoes, and chicken all topped off with freshly baked loaves of bread. Yet, the best part of the day came after dinner.

The best part of the day was in the evening when the whole family sat down together in the living room. My brothers and I would be crowded together with my Mom on the couch. My Dad and Nana would be relaxing in their chairs with warm smiles on their faces. Our little dog, Duke would be curled up at my feet napping. Freshly popped popcorn would be passed around while we watched some old Christmas movie on the television. More often than not, though, I would be watching everyone else instead. I could feel the peace, the love, and the happiness that connected us all. In my child's heart too I knew that God was present with us. It was the best part of the day of the best day of the year. It was Christmas!

As I grew older and had children of my own I did my best to create special days like this with them not just at Christmas but all through the year. I realized something special too. I realized that each day here was a present from God. I realized that each day we lived in love was our present to God. I realized that each day can be Christmas if we choose. May all of your days feel like Christmas. May every day feel like the best day of the year.

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