The 2nd Greatest Gift

By Tom Milligan

It’s 5:14 AM on Christmas morning.  I’ve been up for an hour.

It started snowing at about 8 O’clock last night and hasn’t stopped.  It’s still dark out, but the snow is reflecting what little light there is giving the morning a beautiful soft glow.  The blanket of snow makes everything peaceful and quiet.

Everyone in the house – including all 4 dogs – is sound asleep (except for me of course).

The scene reminds me of my favorite Christmas hymn:

Silent Night
Holy Night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

I expect to hear some stirring in a couple of hours, bringing the peace and tranquility to an abrupt end as cooking the Christmas feast, readying the house for visitors, trying in vain to corral four dogs, and the rest of what Christmas has become replaces the peace & quiet.

But for now, I sit alone in my warm living room enjoying the quiet and pondering the greatest gift from God and the true meaning of Christmas while reflecting on all I’ve been given.

I have four strong, intelligent, and healthy sons who I love with all my heart.  Like any parent, I would kill or die to protect any one of them.

My oldest son just moved out on his own a few months ago.  I’m grateful to watch him grow into the man he will become.

My twins will graduate high school in June.  I’m not sure how that’s even possible since, in my mind, they’re still babies.  But both are somehow taller than my six foot frame.  The future is bright for both of these boys and I’m excited to watch it happen.

My youngest son got his learner’s permit a couple of months ago and will enter high school in the fall.  My dad, when first holding this tiny infant in the hospital 15 years ago, prophesied that he would grow to become the leader of all his brothers and a leader of men.  I can’t wait to see what that means.  My dad was rarely wrong.  That tiny baby is now 6’3″ and growing.

I love my children more than life itself and am so grateful for the gift from God of having them in my life.

But no matter much I love my children, that love can’t compare with what I feel for my wife Tiffany.

If you think of the “whole package”, she’s it.

She makes me laugh every day of my life.  Her musical talents fill our home with beautiful sounds.  Her intelligence is off the charts.  She works hard at home and her job.  And on top of all that, she’s flat out, drop dead gorgeous.

I’ve often wondered what she saw in me all those years ago.  I’m sure it’s something I’ll never understand so all I can do is try to be the man she deserves – knowing full well I will always fall short.

She is my rock.

She is my life.

She’s truly a gift from God.




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