This Christmas Day was a bit different than all others. For the first time since her being born, I did not see my sister on Christmas Day. She spent her first Christmas morning with her first child, Seamus, and husband Kevin, and then went to Kevin's family party. We'll all get together tomorrow and open gifts and have brunch. It was nice to be able to sleep in on Christmas morning after a late night going to midnight mass. This is probably the first Christmas in my life that I didn't get up early and open gifts. I gladly slept until 11 AM, and sometime earlier in the morning, my mom gave me the gift of throwing a couple more blankets on me, as I slept on the basement couch. I found a big bin of my baseball cards too, and looked through some of them.
At Noon we went to my Grandma's House. This year we were missing a few of my cousins as well as my sister and brother-in-law. Instead of about 30 people at Grandmas, we had around 20. My little cousins (my aunt and uncle's 5 kids) were there which really helped fill the place a little more, and they are so enjoyable to have around. My little god-daughter who is a year and half seems to become a character when she's tired and having fun. She kept moving a small, one foot high stool to sit on in front of me, on the couch. This same stool my Grandpa used to rest his head on when he laid on the floor and watched TV, before he died over 20 years ago. She sat on the stool to watch the older kids watch my brother and cousins play Super Mario Brothers. Her older brother who is 4 asked why my eldest uncle was still asleep in the recliner chair, and someone suggested waking him up. When a few taps didn't work, my cousin went to get his kiddie saxophone and he blew some forte notes in front on my uncle. I'm sure it is impossible to go into a deep sleep there on Holidays; I've tried.
So, it was a Christmas that was different but quite the same. Very nice all around, and another reason to appreciate God's great gift of family and children.