Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Tenth Day of Christmas I give you... MEANING

It has been a fun-filled yet exhausting day. I started the day out making my good friend and last client before the holiday... Emily pretty for Christmas. I then dropped off something to a friend that I picked up for her in The Cayman Islands, got stocking stuff purchased and dropped off donations to a friend who organized a Christmas Wish event for a needy family. It was a great day and it really got me in the spirit of Christmas. Then... something happened to change all of that...

On the tenth day of Christmas, this blogger gives to you... MEANING, and a reminder of what Christmas is truly about!

Every year since I moved to Florida, (1999) my oldest brother Keith who once lived in Orlando and I had traveled up to South Carolina the day after Christmas to spend the holidays with our Mom and younger brother. We generally stayed through New Year's Day which is his birthday, to have a huge New Years Eve party to celebrate. Well... in 2009 my brother Keith moved to Kansas with a former girlfriend and for the first time in years, did not make the drive with me. So... in 2009, I drove through the night with my daughter Cierra, who at the time was 17, and my three little ones sleeping in the back seat of my cream PT Cruiser; my son Zane was 2, Baleigh was 8, and my littlest munchkin Abrielle was nothing more than a 4 month old 5-lb little peanut at the time. It was a LOOOONG night and I honestly recall having to call my mother on the final stretch just to not fall asleep at the wheel. When I arrived at her house, she opened the garage door, I hopped out of the car delirious (it was now 5a.m. and I had been up for 27 hours straight) I kissed her, left all the kids in the car for her to retrieve and went to bed. LOL!!! It had been a rough year, and I did not think I was going to be able to handle making the trip, physically or monetarily... but I did it anyway because being with family is what Christmas is about. Without Keith there, it did not feel the same but we made the best of it and had a pretty good time.

Since that year... times have been tough for him and he has yet to make it back to Florida for Christmas. In October of 2010, my mother moved down to help me with my children leaving my youngest brother and his family behind in SC. My oldest daughter went off to Colorado for college that same year, but luckily has been able to come home the past two years for the holidays. Having us all together however, has not  happened since 2008 and I truly miss this time with my awesome family. I found out today that my brother Keith would be spending Christmas alone and that did not feel right. Even though my daughter and I had searched flights earlier this week to try and get him here, flights were astronomical. Today... as I felt like Santa be-bopping around humming Christmas songs, I was saddened to find out he would be alone and my merry spirit changed to sadness.

I asked my daughter to jump online and see what the cheapest flight was out of Kansas... we had to try one more time. Low and behold we found an affordable flight with only ONE SEAT LEFT and we booked it. I called my brother to ask him what his plans were for Christmas Eve. He told me he was invited to a friend's house to watch movies. I then asked about Christmas day through New Years... to which he said "nothing". I happily said... " well... I have something to tell you, you will be in Florida until the 4th." He was silent... and in shock said "What? How?" To which I said "Santa is good to good girls and boys, and left it at that." I cannot tell you how excited I am to have been able to do this, my daughter and I made it happen. I cannot WAIT to pick him up from the airport on Christmas Eve night. Now, if I could only get my younger brother to drive down with his family for New Year's so we could bring back a family tradition ... it would be a perfect year end!

Remember... it's not about opening gifts, it's not about money spent, it's not about Santa Claus...
it's about FAMILY and spending time with the one's you love!