Friday, November 24, 2006

In order to give due thanks at this holiday season and also to pay honor to the upcoming marriage of Matt and Stacey, a merry family gathering was held at Jan’s house yesterday. There were good spirits in everyone’s heart – the kind of spirits that bring on hearty hugs and especially lengthy greetings and goodbyes. I’m sure all of us were smiling most of the time, and no doubt very few of us frowned even once from the start of the celebration to the end. It was particularly gratifying to see Stacey’s parents, Mary and Stanley, having such a happy time with our family. Everyone brought a “gift” to the party, whether it was a few good family stories, or some funny, heartfelt sentences (Noah), or sincere friendship (everyone), or just a quiet, gentle presence (Stanley). It was a Christmas celebration many weeks before Christmas. The spirit of giving generously and receiving gratefully was definitely in the air. Just standing in a corner and talking with someone (as I did with Gabe and Bill and others) was a simple and wonderful gift. The best gift for all of us, though, was the bountiful overflowing of cheerfulness. You could shop at the swankiest mall in the state and you wouldn’t find a gift to match it. For zero dollars, we all were able to enjoy the wonderful spirit of merriment that was present yesterday when a jovial family came together in Mystic, CT.

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