My Best Christmas Present
My favorite Christmas present, ever? That time in 1955 when I came in from the cold into the warm sunlit room after morning Mass, to view all the colorfully wrapped presents under the tree. My dad was sitting in an easy chair watching me, then he unexpectedly spoke. He said, "the best present isn't under the tree, it's on the tree." When I looked up I saw a hand written, plain white envelope, with a single sheet of paper inside. On that piece of lined school paper my 5 year-old brother Paul had scrawled, in the large letters of a child, how much he loved our father.
Since my back was turned to everyone, I slipped out of the room unnoticed, as tears started to gush from my eyes. I went outside to the back of the property so nobody would hear me sobbing. That was the best Christmas present ever. It wasn’t my present; it was a gift to all of us. And the tears are still in my eyes as I write these lines.