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The Best Christmas Gift

December 26, 2011

The best Christmas gifts cost nothing.

This year I received the best Christmas gift from my fifteen year old son, Cody.

The Best Christmas Gift

On Wednesday, December 21, we gathered at my home to exchange Christmas gifts with my mom, my brother Michael, and Uncle Fr. Charles.  Schedules were going to be busy around Christmas, so we took an evening before Christmas to spend some quality time together, share a meal, and exchange gifts.

The very first gift I received and opened was a very small and lightweight package presented to me by Cody.  It was less than 2 inches in diameter and only pages thin.

I asked Cody if I had to be careful opening it. It didn’t feel like there was anything inside it, and I was afraid I would tear or damage it.  He gave me an affirmative answer. I opened and unfolded it carefully.

Written on the inside of the gift wrap paper was a message that read “To receive, come see me.  (IOU)”.

To receive, come see me. (IOU)

I was a little bewildered by the message, and initially a little disappointed. An IOU for Christmas?  What could he have for me that he couldn’t have wrapped and given to me?  What could he be up to?

Moments later, Cody came to me where I was sitting on the couch, sat on my lap, threw his arms around my neck, and said,

I love you so much.  You’re the best daddy ever.

Ed and Cody

Cody and I have had some relational problems and conflicts in recent years.  We’ve been through very difficult situations and circumstances together. We didn’t always handle them well, as much as we may have tried.

But I’ve been trying very hard to work through them with him on my end.  And I think he recognizes how hard I’ve been trying.  I think he’s been trying too.  We’ve made a lot of progress this past year.  He’s been so much more loving, affectionate and helpful at home.  I’ve recognized that I’ve been more encouraging and loving to him too.  He’s been doing much better in school too and finished the first quarter on the honor roll at school.  I’m very proud of him.  I’m proud of the progress we’ve made together.

To me, the gift of this moment, was a beautiful sign of the healing that has been taking place between us.

I felt Cody’s warm arms around my neck, his weight bearing down on me, and his face pressing next to mine.

Then I felt joyful and jolly on the inside.  I felt a belly laugh bubble up from deep down inside worthy of old Santa Claus himself.

If I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit before, I was now.

I kissed and thanked him.

We had a photo taken to capture the beautiful moment.

The rest of the gifts I receved this Christmas were very fine, and things that I could really use and enjoy for a long time to come.

But the gift from Cody, the one that cost nothing, was priceless.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Uncle john permalink
    December 27, 2011 3:18 pm

    Eddie,
    You are the best sincere and loving parent and your children will always be proud of your writtings. I have read them myself, you make it interesting even if I didn’t know you. Keep hanging in there.

    Uncle John & Sheryl

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