I am sitting here at the kitchen table in my sister-in-law’s house listening to her tell about her recent trip to New York.

We are on our annual post-Christmas pilgrimage to Alabama. When Grant was born, we told both sides of the family that we would come home AFTER Christmas, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were goinmg to be for OUR family.

The longer Ivy talks, the more that I can’t help but think about how different Christmas can be for people. We have some friends who never leave their house over the holidays. Others spend Christmas Even and Christmas Day almost entirely on the road. Others are like us and reserve the actual holiday for themselves and travel between Christmas and New Year’s.

But the common theme for Christmas is family. Even people we know that may not have family near them gravitate toward family groups during the Christmas season.

I would like to believe that makes God smile because I think that at its heart, Christmas is about family. God sent His family — His only Son — to earth, and Jesus’ birth made it possible for us to become part of God’s family. And those of us who are Christians become part of an extended family here on Earth. So while most holidays have a family element to them, it’s fitting that Christmas be more about it than any other.

Living in Knoxville and with family in Alabama, we get to spend precious little time with them as it is, so we always look forward to the time after Christmas that we get to go home.

Hopefully, you have gotten to do the same over the last few days. Share stories, laugh, love one another. Whether you live next door or a 1,000 doors away, time with family is precious.

Enjoy it.