It is Christmas morning and family and friends surround me as we open gifts with anticipation and surprise. That nagging question that always seems to arise in me returns, “Did I get the right present for many of my relatives?”
Putting all kidding aside, the older I get, the more I am aware of these cherished moments when everyone is together from all parts of the country enjoying a few days away from the daily grind. Playing cards, eating too much and retelling stories that just get better every year. It seems that the antlers get bigger and the fish get longer until the photos unveil the real truth to the embellished outdoor adventure.
In some cases, I don’t remember ever being quite that young as we laugh at the photos. The years slip by so quickly. In the meantime, the new generation of grandchildren has the chance to hear the stories and see the photos for the first time as we gather around the kitchen table eating more Christmas cookies. It won’t be long before they will be a part of the next outdoor adventure and will have memories of their own to cherish.
If you have family here for the holidays, make it a point to visit Green Valley Park, Tonto Natural Bridge or maybe just take a short walk in the national forest and enjoy the Rim Country. The scenic panorama is breathtaking, especially with the snow on the nearby peaks. Clear, crisp and clean mountain air is hard to beat.
Don’t forget, the best gift for family and friends at this time of year is that ever-precious commodity called time. The investment is far reaching and the price tag is affordable, but it can’t be bought on the Internet or television or at the mall. Get off the sofa and encourage your children or grandchildren to enjoy the “great outdoors,” God’s creation.
Merry Christmas — He is the reason for the season!