Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Christmas Ever!

     Funny how every year we seem to say "That was the best Christmas ever!" Well, I do believe this was the best Christmas ever for me. It was the best because it was simple. Our family got back to the basics. We didn't gorge ourselves on food. We didn't have an over-abundance of gifts. But we did have each other and that's what made it the best.
     Our oldest son was able to come home from Arkansas for a week. He has to be back at work tomorrow. Our youngest son was not able to come home from Kansas for Christmas because he took off the Thanksgiving week. He did that because his co-worker lives in Indiana and Jade offered to give up his Christmas break so Ryan could have more time with his family in Indiana. That's how we brought them up, giving to others. Jake needed to be back early because his co-worker also wanted a couple of weeks off. He, too, took off Thanksgiving week so she could have more time off at Christmas.
     It was a dicey decision-wondering if I should make the trip with my husband to Hays, KS to spend Christmas with our sons. Jake took his vehicle and left for Arkansas today after spending a couple of quality days with his brother. I love that they are so close. I was concerned about my dad's health and condition, so I considered not going to Kansas. But Dad had a great day Friday when we went in to visit he and Mom. We took them a John Deere windmill and put it outside their patio door. Tears streamed from their eyes when they saw that windmill. I know it brought both of them back to the ranch for a while.
     So I decided to go to Kansas and spend a couple of days with the family there. I took all the fixings for a ham dinner for Christmas Eve. Simple--bone-in, spiral ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, glazed sweet potatoes, fresh steamed asparagus, blueberry, cherry, and pumpkin pies. For Christmas Day, Jade smoked a brisket for us and I fixed mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh green beans, and, of course, the pie. I'm proud that my boys both know how to cook and aren't afraid to do so. That was a wonderful present, eating that delicious smoked brisket that Jade prepared. We weren't rolling out the door complaining of over-eating. It was just right.
     Just as the gift opening was just right. The boys "pre-selected" their Christmas presents. They didn't want much, which is great. They just wanted to be together. I enjoy purchasing little things for them, like maybe a western shirt that they know they're getting. What they don't know is what I've done to those "little things", such as having their respective cattle brands embroidered on the shirts or on the hot mitts I purchased right in front of them. So there remains that element of surprise.
     And, just like little kids enjoy doing, the boys dressed in their new "duds" and we went to church with Jade on Christmas morning. Then we enjoyed the delicious lunch and visited some more before Harold and I departed for Colorado, leaving the two brothers to enjoy the remainder of the afternoon and evening together, visiting and reminiscing. They called us just as we pulled into the yard. They hadn't gone to a movie or done anything other than ate leftovers, visited, and were watching a football game on television.
     That's the best Christmas present any parent could ask for--siblings so close and spending a simple Christmas together with the family and simple eats. It doesn't get any better than that. Merry Christmas to all of you and a very Happy New Year!

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