Let the shopping begin.

I spent three hours online shopping last night. Nothing beats shopping from the comfort of my own home. Everyone around me hates the early arrival of Christmas in the stores and on television. I have always loved it. The Christmas music, the lights, the decorations, the parties, the food, the gifts (I am all about the giving and receiving of gifts), the general congeniality of mankind, the few extra weeks to procrastinate.

For my family, this Christmas is going to be different. This Christmas is different. I have always hated the saying, “fake it ’til you make it.” It completely goes against the grain of what we were created to be. Faking it? Isn’t there enough of that in this world? Just turn on the television or pick up a newspaper. Who is really real anymore? What is real anymore? Making it? We run around trying to “make it” happen; “make it” bigger; “make it” better.

I was the biggest faker I knew. Having children made me real. Children brought out the best and the worst in me and DiNozzo smacked me with reality. They helped me realize that the faking had to stop with me. Or I was going to raise another generation of fakers.

My family can’t fake it this Christmas. It’s going to be painful. We’re going to make you feel uncomfortable. We’re going to cry. We’re going to avoid parties. We’re going to avoid you. Oh, we could fake it. And at times, we will. But the reality for us this year is that we are in pain. We lost a child this year. We lost a mother this year. We had two family members diagnosed with cancer this year. We have been dealing with a father fighting our best efforts to help him move and get settled into a strange home, a strange new life.

We are sorry if we make it difficult or uncomfortable for anyone, but we are determined to be real. We are thankful for all of you. You have come along side us and grieved and cooked and baked and written notes and moved and packed and sorted and held our hands. We still need you to do that. We know that one day, you will need help through such a time as this. We will be there for you; because we know.

This Christmas we aren’t so much focusing on the gifts; the lights; the decorations. Our focus is much more Heaven bound. We are secure and comforted knowing our missed loved ones are there. With our Lord and Savior. That, dear ones, is Real.

I love you all and am so very thankful and grateful for each of you!

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