With Christmas approaching, now is a time I like to take to think about family and friends.
My immediate family is spread far and wide around the United States. I don't see or talk with them much but we always seem to spend a little time catching up with each other around Christmas time.
My sister and her family live in Oklahoma City. She's busy and so am I, so it's nice when Christmas rolls around so we can talk on the phone or chat online. It's nice to hear how her kids are doing. Sometimes we talk about what we did when we were kids. We keep it nice and don't bring up the times we tried to kill each other.
There's one memory I keep thinking about lately from my younger days. I was about 5-years-old when my sister and I waited up for Santa Claus to arrive.
I can't remember how late we stayed up, anything past 10 p.m. would have been really late for us, but I do remember just sitting and staring out my sister's bedroom window for what seemed like hours waiting for the fat man to come. He never did.
At the time I understood, he was pretty busy. How great it would be to still believe.
My parents are in Tucson, Ari. now. Although they live in Spokane Valley my dad works in Tucson and he lives down there year round. My mom goes down to stay with him during the winter months so we never see each other during the holidays. The last time we were together as a family for Christmas was back in 1995. Wow, that sounds like a long time ago.
Back when we were all still together, we would always go to another family member's house or have the whole family over to our house. Those days were fun.
It was great for everyone to get together. Although most of our family was less than an hour's drive away, we only saw each other maybe two or three times a year. I really enjoyed hanging out with my cousins on those Christmas days so long ago. And the presents.
My best Christmas present had to be the one my grandma gave me back in 1984. It was Iron Maiden's Powerslave album. It's not something I would even think about listening to today but back when I was a sophomore in high school, it was the shiznitz.
Now days, the presents are few and far between. Whenever my mom asks me what I want for Christmas I usually tell her, "nothing, just your love." The truth of the matter is I have so much junk I don't want to add to it. She usually gets me some pants, shirts or socks. Stuff I actually use.
That's OK, though. The older I get I realize more and more that the best Christmas presents I've received during my life have been the times I've spent with, and the memories I have of, my family. The Russells.
Merry Christmas guys.