Large and scattered families that mean Christmas is a cheerful, bustling, scrambled rush each year for four blessed Yuletides.
Three different families in three different homes full of health and warmth and love.
One little brother practically a man full grown, a head taller than his eldest sister and whose biggest Christmas smile came from watching Mum unwrapping her gifts.
One little brother who sits on the edge of teenage years but with childhood and all it's sweetness still clingy to his demeanor and smile, even when sick.
One little brother still barely more than a babe, a first Christmas that he can remember still ahead of him, who promises Christmas Eve he will stay up to say "Thank Santa Clause."
One sister far from home experiencing a round of firsts as her family waits for her to come to celebrate the holiday.
One sister in a lacrosse shirt and lace headband, all tomboy and all lady and all at once, blue eyes and pink cleats and a smile that looks like her big brother's.
One sister pausing to enjoy family as she bustles through the busy life she has built for herself class at a time, job at a time, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done-day at a time.
Pups who like Christmas as much as children do.
A white christmas after all.
Grandparents near and far.
A pecan pie challenge that turned into a triumph.
Gifts generous and plentiful, filling bags and boxes and stockings.
The look on faces as carefully selected boxes filled with handmade goodies are passed around: the smiles when the treats inside are revealed.
The feeling of being known and loved so well.
The Carol of the Bells.
Warm fires blazing.
Two best friends who manage to share the holiday (cards and facebook chats and general mischief) without ever sharing the same room with me.
Getting the chance to gently let go of Christmas gently, since in Boyfriend's house we still have to celebrate when said sister comes home from her adventure. This means almost an extra full week of Christmas specials and movies, of decorations and Sanata stories and hoping for Snow and sugar plum dreams.
Ham dinners with more people than there are chairs and tables to hold them all, so we fill two rooms with our ruckus.
Late night well wishes and kindness from someone I barely know, whose words filled my heart with a candle soft but star bright glow.
Love. Always, always, always blessed to have love.
Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Goodnight!