Thoughts from the heart with family at Christmas

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Shane Ellis
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The kids are in bed and with good reason. It's Christmas, and both of my children were up early to see what Santa delivered during the night. As their father, I love to observe their actions, listen to their words, and smile with every non-verbal cue they give me as they open their Christmas presents. As I observed my children today, I am confident this is another Christmas which they will cherish for a very long time.

Now that everyone is asleep, I turn off the lights as I head for my chair to take a seat. My Christmas tree stands in a corner of the room, and I soon find myself gazing at the tree. I'm not gazing at the tree because it's so spectacular; moreover, I'm gazing at the tree because of the tradition it represents to my family and me.

Each year my family and I pick out a live Christmas tree to adorn our home. My children love helping with the tree, and I always consider the finished product a work of art.

Since my children are young, it's safe to say that our Christmas tree would not be considered to be put on display at the Biltmore Estate. My children are only so tall, many ornaments end up too close together, and color patterns don't really matter to them at this point in their lives. Even with that said, our finished tree is always priceless.

As I sit here gazing at our tree the lights are casting a comforting glow, the ornaments are whispering of years past and present, and the fresh scent gives me peace regarding the life we share together as a family.

I don't find my current mindset strange, and I actually like the state of enlightenment I'm in at the moment. I have so many reasons to be thankful, and I'm most thankful for the time I get to spend with my family, the joy each of them brings me, and the hope I have for their tomorrows. Life is good.

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