This is joy and there is nothing more I desire

Image for This is joy and there is nothing more I desire

I am having a great Christmas and it’s not even Christmas yet! Friday my three grandchildren came for dinner. I was expecting my granddaughter Hampton, age nine and my grandson Drew, age eleven, when lo and behold his brother Nick, sixteen, asked if he could join us also. Over a big bowl of pasta we told jokes and shared stories and laughter. Then it was off to view the holiday light displays at the outdoor gardens. We had to drag Nick along, protesting he was too old for that kind of thing, but of course he had the best time of all. Back to the house for popcorn, umpteen games of UNO and more laughter. I sat back for a minute, observing us sitting around the table, simply enjoying each others’ company and I realized this is happiness, this is joy and there is nothing more I desire.

Hampton lives an hour away so I was delighted when her parents agreed she could spend the weekend. We had big plans for our time together: Saturday we sat next to each other at the nail salon sharing grown up conversation while getting pedicures, enjoyed pizza for lunch (our favorite), found the perfect golf shirt for Papa at the mall, and then spent the rest of the day making Christmas cookies. These surely must be the best cookies ever – lots of colored frosting and sprinkles – all made from scratch. My kitchen still shows signs of the flour that some how seemed to dust everything from top to bottom. I don’t know how many cookies we will have left to share; between Hampton, Papa and me, we sampled as many as we could as they came out of the oven. What good are fresh-baked cookies if you don’t eat them when they are fresh?

The time we spend making cookies is precious to me. Over the years as Hampton has grown she has taken on a much more active role in the process. Carefully she reads the recipe and measures out the ingredients, rolling out the dough with ease, meticulously cutting out the various holiday shapes – stars, bells, and Christmas trees along with a few butterflies for Kristi. She has grown so much, her confidence in her abilities honed and sharpened by the time we have spent together. Again a sense of gratitude and joy rolls over me. For I know in a couple of days life will return to normal, the kids back in school and busy with their activities, me back to work. As we snuggled down to sleep that night, both our tummies and our hearts full, I am satisfied.

Sunday it was off to the Dollar Store for prizes for the family Bowling Tournament we are planning for Christmas Eve afternoon. Wrapping our carefully selected prizes, envisioning the playful competition between the members of the Visocky clan, we looked forward to seeing who would win the sought after trophy for the best bowler.

I savor these moments for I know how fleeting life can be and I want to soak up and embrace all of them. It is joy in the small things that makes my day; time with family and friends, laughter and camaraderie. I realize I don’t need presents, for like most of us, I have plenty of stuff. What my soul wants for Christmas is joy. I have been blessed to have family around during the holidays, yet I know that this won’t always be the case. My children already have their own busy lives and are creating their own traditions. I know my grandchildren will all too soon grow up and find other interests; they won’t be available to make cookies or play UNO with their grandmother. But I know joy is what my soul seeks today and everyday and it is my job to live it whatever the circumstances. So I embrace these times, the joy and the love. Life is good.

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