It’s interesting how our perspectives change as we grow.
We are less than two weeks away from Christmas, and how I feel about that now is vastly different than how I felt when I was a kid or even 15 or 20 years ago.
I am looking forward to having our small family together.
I feel that way every time we get together. Heck, I feel that way just anticipating us getting together.
Just the six of us spending time together, and it’s always the best time.
I grew up with large family gatherings, and I always loved it, but I didn’t think too much about the get-together as much as I did the presents.
That’s what Christmas is when you are a kid, and Santa Claus is a mystical figure who seems larger than life.
A jolly, old elf flying around the world in one night delivering presents to all the good boys and girls.
I wondered who were these naughty kids who didn’t get gifts. I never met one, but they must have existed.
As you get older and move away from home you look forward to coming home and seeing everyone, and tasting your mom’s cooking - and presents.
Along the way you also learn the joy of giving gifts; finding something for someone special and the anticipation of watching them open it.
Then you have your own children, and you get the inside scoop on how Santa Claus operates.
All you want is to give your kids a Christmas they’ll remember. You spend too much and you fret over every detail, you just want to make it special for them.
Then your kids grow up, and although you still want the day to be special and one they’ll remember, the best part is having them home.
There are presents - everyone likes getting something - but the time you spend together making memories is what lasts.
This year our kids will come home on Christmas Eve, spend the night and Christmas Day at home.
We’ll cook, eat, play games, watch Christmas shows, and yes, we will open presents. While the presents will be nice, and we will appreciate the thoughts behind them, it’ll be the time together that far outlasts the gifts we give to each other.
With a virus that has taken hundreds of thousands from their families in this country, and there are many thousands more who will spend the holiday alone in hospital rooms, I hope we all appreciate the time we have together.
It is the people we surround ourselves with who make every day meaningful.
Maybe, if it is possible for any good to come out of what we are experiencing these days, it is that we can reset or be reminded of what’s important in life. Here’s to making memories with the people we cherish the most.
Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.