i walk into this place, this house, no- this home and wish i could never leave. i never walk in without being welcomed with great hugs by two very special people, nana and grandaddy. this night we are here to celebrate christmas, and the bond of our family that grows each day. the food is spread out on the dining room table. the card tables and folding chairs are set and waiting for family to fill them in den. all because of a very diligent nana and grandaddy, all is ready. we wait for cousins, their dates, aunts and uncles to arrive. they do and hugs are exchanged, smiles shared. we talk, we gather round in den as is the custom and listen as grandaddy speaks. tonight there is a list nana has made for him and we all joke as he goes down the list with great order. he encourages as he expresses his thankfulness for all gathered there under his roof. in great big circle, we all grasp hands and brother dallas offers his thanks for the food. after all food is consumed, a checker game and-a-half is played with byron (the second game was almost won by yours truly), the grandparents pass each of the grand kids their gift... a book for each of memories from years past. we open with great awe and eagerly devour each of our books, only stopping to point out one or many photos to a family member nearby. memories of great moments in time are re-lived. the books are treasured already and heartfelt hugs are given to nana and grandaddy for their hard work in compiling each of the seven grand kids a personal book. dirty santa is played and then we lift our voices in song to Him who knit us together as family. on the front porch in the cool night air, grand kids laugh until we can't breathe as grandaddy takes picture after picture. the love is here and this is the greatest christmas present of all.