It's not 'Where' we spend Christmas, though we travel to Texas every year.
It's not 'What' we anticipate getting from under the tree - that's the furthest thing on our minds.
It's the 'Who' we spend Christmas with that matters so much more than anything else.
For me, the moment I walk through Grandad's and Nana's door, it's Christmas. The decorations are out, the kitchen is bustling with activity and the house is full of people chattering. It's what Christmas should be like in my minds eye.
The moment I enter their house, my heart is warmed just by the sight of their Living Room, which is filled with Christmas decorations welcoming anyone who walks in.
The tree is in it's place and hanging all around are red apples marked with the names of every single person in the family.
The table in the Dining Room is set and it looks like we are expecting royalty to join us for lunch. There's no paper or plastic cutlery here, it's first class all the way - even on the kid's table!
In the busy Kitchen, I can expect to hear Grandad commanding attention for each dish's preparation and I typically find Nana cooking.
I can't help but smile whenever I walk in the den because dozens of pictures hang from each wall as if to tout loudly the owners pride & joy is in every family member, kid & grandkid.
Before I know it, it's time to eat and then...we are having the most sacred, most holy meal ever. Take a look...
After we eat, it's time to open gifts and Grandad is always right in the thick of it because in reality, he's just a 63 year old kid. I marvel at how many times I've seen him just like in this picture below -down on the floor playing with the young kids.
The final part of the day is my favoirte. We just spend time together. We catch up, we tell stories, we laugh. This time is like gold to me -there's nothing better than this time. This next picture totally captures the fun. Greg's cousin said something that made me laugh just as the picture was taken. I love it.
We take our share of pictures. I love that the females in this family are just as willing to pose and take pictures as much I am!
Grandad and Nana are getting up in their years. Perhaps, that is why each Christmas feels more special than the last because I'm not sure how many more years they will be able to pull out decorations, set up tables, cook up a storm and wash a ton of dishes. All I know is that Greg's Grandparents and their house IS Christmas to me. What a blessing the last 14 Christmas' have been for me because of Grandad and Nana!
Grandad and Nana - Thank you for hosting Christmas year after year. Thank you for going the extra mile to make Christmas special, for losing the hours of sleep to prepare, for doing more than your poor muscles can handle, for standing on your feet to cook and cook and cook, for making a sacrifice just to buy a gift...you do so much to make Christmas special for your family and I really appreciate it and love you both so much for it. Merry Christmas. Love, Julia.