Family Over Christmas

     Although my feelings to the church have waxed and waned in my life, I have always been passionate about Christmas. I think no matter what we believe, there is a good message to observe in the annual celebration. It speaks of love and peace. It speaks also of family.
     This will be my first Christmas as a single parent. I will have my too daughters with me and I am pleased. But this weekend we are having a precursor to Christmas. My daughters' half sister is coming to visit. Since I am not her natural father, when my companion and I parted ways, this eldest daughter of hers did not stay with me. She will not be with me at Christmas time. I spent a good part of the two plus years I have known her fighting to be with her due to many and diverse circumstances, and then I suddenly had to let go of that all and watch her leave in a direction I would have never expected.
     I do not expect we shall have tinsel all over tomorrow. I have not done any decorating yet, and my parents, who we will be seeing, never start till much closer to the day. We shall pass her presents to her father to keep until Christmas, and to her it will likely be the same as our last visit. But I know this will be the last time I see her until after Christmas, and though I will have much joy with my two daughters that morning, there will be a spot once occupied by her Christmas cheers and giggles that will remain silent that day.

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