It’s Christmas morning, and I’m waiting for my granddaughter to wake up so we can start playing. She will have homefield advantage; we’ll be playing her games — Barbie car, little tikes kitchen — not mine. I got to play a little of my kind of games last night. My brother — a 40-year-old business executive who runs a company and travels the world — is always recruiting us to play some game that someone invariably received. Sports Illustrated’s classic old football board game. Some hockey game. Last night, it was ESPN’s 21st-century trivia game. We played a few minutes, then other duties called. But it’s always fun to be around my brothers. They make me laugh like no one else can.
I don’t know what I’m getting for Christmas and it’s OK with me if I get nothing. I don’t need anything, other than my son-in-law to be safe in Iraq and my daughter to survive the separation and my granddaughter to keep smiling and my wife to keep it all running smoothly, like she has every day for 27 years.
Besides, I already received a wonderful Christmas present. Sunday night, me and the Dish went up to her sister’s church to see their Christmas concert. It was good, except for a couple of carols that were trotted out with some of those new melodies. I don’t know much about music, but I know this. Christmas carols don’t need new tunes. Anyway, I made that exact comment on the way home.
We get home, I turn on the DVR and start watching the Vikings-Redskins from the start. I watch for awhile, my wife’s doing something around the house, then suddenly the doorbell rings. It’s some friends from church, out caroling with some other friends who once attended church with us but no longer do. It was like 12 adults and 8 or 9 kids. They came into the house, filled the living room and seranaded me while I sat on my couch. They sang Joy to the World and Silent Night and didn’t change word or tune. In the group was my friend John Terry, who plays a wonderful rhythm guitar. It’s been a Christmas tradition for several years for John and his two daughters and daughter-in-law to sing this wonderful rendition of O Holy Night. But they no longer attend our church, and just the other day, I was all bummed out that I wouldn’t get to hear their O Holy Night this year. But Sunday night, all three girls were with John, and upon request, without 10 seconds of preparation, they sang O Holy Night while I sat on my couch. Best Christmas present I could have received, and just what I needed.
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