What’s it worth to you?

“Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. 
Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more.”

Quote from back-to-back episodes of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that played on Christmas day — the classic cartoon and the Jim Carrey version. Love, love, love.

Every year, it becomes more and more obvious how much truth there is to that quote. 
The kids and I got some great stuff for Christmas, don’t get me wrong. 
But “things” don’t make our Christmas meaningful. For instance… 

You can’t buy more than 50 years of family ornaments – and history – hooked onto every square inch of my parents’ tree.
Or watching grown men — after waiting for this moment since last Christmas — consume my mother’s breakfast casseroles in the span of fifteen minutes. 
(Who am I kidding. The women are just as bad.)
Or watching my kids introduce my father to Angry Birds on the iPad — and seeing him get such a kick out of it. (Lest you not recognize the significance of this brush with technology, we’re talking about a man who thinks it’s necessary to talk louder when making a cell or long distance call in order for the person on the other end of the call to hear him.)
Or watching my sister help our nephew put our Christmas gifts to good use…
…and hearing him exclaim that he has a monster on his head. 
Or watching Murphy warm himself on the Xbox, giving our “family Christmas gift” a definition I hadn’t considered. (It was even funnier when he managed to stretch out a paw and inadvertently open the disk tray, thus interrupting a heated game of Madden football. Though I’m probably the only one who found humor in it given that I was the only one not playing.)
Now we’re home and settled back in after a great holiday with lots of fun new memories. 
The kids and I have talked about it and, over the next ten/eleven months, we’re going to seriously consider eliminating or severely limiting gifts next year — while we wait for the next round of mom’s breakfast casseroles. 

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