We all know the true meaning of Christmas, which is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a day of recognition for one human who sacrificed so much for his people, and so selflessly gave of himself proving the ultimate surrender can be done, while asking nothing in return except for true devotion and the following of good, honest people.

Christmas Day means so much to so many. Not only is it a day of festivities and happiness, but a day of family reunions, lots of laughter and catching up between friends and family, enjoying each other’s companionship. But to so many it is a day of pain and sorrow; and the holidays are a time of gathering, to those that lost a loved one recently, it is also a time of reflection, happy memories, and ache that they are no longer here to celebrate with us.

Hopefully as everyone enjoyed their days together, you took a moment to remember and reflect on those that may have had one empty chair at the dining room table; and hopefully a prayer was said for the Connecticut families that had unopened Christmas presents and empty beds on Christmas Eve.

I know the exchanging of Christmas gifts means so many different things to different people. In my heart I feel it began with the exchange of gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus. To others it began with the creation of Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer; but in my mind it a time to celebrate happiness, Jesus, and Santa. A little bit of everything.

Which catapults us into “The Morning After” the mass destruction of unwrapping, destroying and enjoying the fun and excitement of Christmas morning. It is the best day of the year, and if you really sit back and take it all in, it is a humorous day, watching kids fling tissue paper about, rip into packages, all the “Ooos” and “Awws” and squeals of excitement.

From the Mom and Dad’s perspective it is even more humorous. The act of giving really does make me happier than receiving, any day of the week. I love watching people’s reaction, I love buying the gifts, but … I gotta say the wrapping … whewww that’s another story.

So this year, I hid all the gifts in my old bedroom closet at my parents’ house, since my kids are getting wiser (which is code for nosier) as to my secret hiding spots in our house. Then a few days before Christmas I went over happy as a jay bird, with my game face on ready to wrap some gifts.

I kissed my family goodbye and say, “See you in a couple hours, shouldn’t take too long.” So I began the obligatory wrapping of the gifts tradition; or as I like to call it the most painfully short lived prison sentence of my life. I headed back to my old room, all necessities in hand.


    Tissue Paper—check

    Wrapping Paper—check


    Gift Bags—check

    Name Tags—check

    And Ribbon—check

And so it began … hour one, was fantastic. Nice wrapping, pretty bows, and maybe a little ornament or two to jazz up the packages. Hour two rolled around and about that time my mother walked in with a tumbler of champagne, yep tumbler, not a champagne flute, but a big ol’ tumbler. And the Christmas music in the background was wonderful at first but then turned into that annoying elevator music that makes you want to jump out of the elevator when you’re trapped with it too long.

Then hour three rapidly approached and I received a text from my hubby asking if I was wrapping for our kids or for Navarro County …which I have to admit would’ve been funny two hours earlier, but at that point in the game, not so funny to ol’ mom. And finally after 4 ½ hours … VOILA! All done. There were a few more bags at the end crammed with tissue paper, and not such pretty bows on the packages, but by golly I was finished!

Beaming with pride and elation that the chore was finished I loaded the gifts and hauled them home. And 48 hours later Christmas morning rolled around. Three happy and very excited little boys flew out of bed, anxious to see what Santa had brought them, and what their tree gifts were too.

And I think within about 45 minutes it was all over! A year of shopping, a day of wrapping, and 45 minutes of pure excitement and joy…priceless. As I sat there looking at our house (which looked like the Atomic Bomb exploded in the living room), my little baby boy came up to me with a new toy in his hands, gave me a kiss turned around and plunked into my lap, and with one fowl swoop of my heart I remembered just what Christmas was all about, the love of family and the celebration of life.

Happy holidays to you all.

Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a local columnist based in Corsicana. She may be reached by e-mail at columnwriter98@hotmail.com. Following Samantha’s blog at http://samantha-daviss.blogspot.com