Yes, reluctantly I admit I’ve been around a while. I have seen things,  experienced things. I have appreciated many things and regretted things more than I ever thought I would. But after yesterday, the first-time thing I was a part of was  Boxing Day. And I am glad.

Dear friends Ettore and Oona invited us to a Boxing Day celebration last night. Since Oona is a Brit, this holiday is very much a part of her heritage. But regardless of the occasion, our two friends always welcome us into their home with a warm embrace. They are the epitome of a gracious host. Last night was special.

Unsure of what a Boxing Day night of celebration held in store (but I do now), we readied ourselves for good food, conversation, and fun at the very least. The evening was an absolute delight. Seeing our friends surrounded by their long-time friends – no, that should more appropriately read as ” their long-time family” – did nothing more than keep a smile in my heart all evening long.

Tragedy can sometimes bring a family together, it can also build a family beyond what we can sometimes comprehend. It is that unintentional bond, that sticks, that is emotionally satisfying and peaceful. I witnessed that miracle last night. A gathering of friends and a collection of young ladies dear to Ettore and Oona, touched each us. Even for those of us enjoying the party for the first time, and know little of the circumstances. But what we do know, and are grateful for, is that six beautiful, lovely young ladies are emotionally connected and very much a part of this family.

Now would I suspect Boxing Day is not entirely about coming together for photographs, teasing, silliness, laughter, hot-buttered rum, and Cajun shrimp…as we did last night. But then, maybe it is all about that in a somehow direct, or maybe indirect, way. We witnessed the byproducts of a traditional celebration continue to bond and heal a family soul when most needed. We all could use a bit more of that from time to time.

Thanks Ettore and Oona! It is truely worth a happy dance…one, I suspect, that you thought no one saw you doing.

This has been a blessed year filled with back-to-back Christmases unlike any other I’ve been through. And now we’re off to enjoy our third Christmas – Merry Boxing Day and Happy Christmas to you all.

Grab a cup of coffee – here is the link to a whole lot of photos of the fun-filled evening: A Boxing Day Celebration 2-26-2011

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