Jake was up early, had a fire roaring in the fireplace, coffee brewing, and Baileys at the ready for later in the day. Everyone was feeling festive as one by one they made their way to the roaring fire. Hugs were exchanged and once all were present, they opened gifts.
Jake’s gift from Nathan was a beautiful painting of Maryland, a place Emma had mentioned was a favourite. He looked at Nathan with awe. “This is beautiful. I know exactly where it should hang. Nathan had thoughtfully included a proper hanger and everyone helped hang the picture, a true piece of Maryland and stood back to enjoy.
Sarah hugged Nathan warmly, “It’s truly remarkable and a treasure.”
“I have been back to Maryland on many occasions, and this is one of my favourite spots, so when Emma explained it was yours too, it seemed natural.”
“You couldn’t have chosen a more special spot.” Sarah explained why and Nathan was even more delighted it was the present he’d chosen for Jake.
Other gifts included a brand new ski outfit for Daniel, a scuba tank for Jackson, music sheets and karaoke machine with all the bells and whistles for Jenna (something Nathan had ordered upon hearing what a spectacular voice she had) tickets to the theatre for Fran to her favourite ballet (including hotel accommodations and the use of his private plane), a brand new camera for Angeline (since she was into photography), and for Sarah, a half dozen plates, cups, saucers, salt and pepper shakers along with milk and sugar servers to complete her English Rose china set. She couldn’t have been happier. Everyone was surprised and awed by the thoughtful gifts they’d received. Emma was last to open her gift. Inside a massive box, she found another and another and another. Everyone laughed with excitement, humour and anticipation. When she finally got to the last box, she found a Christmas card. Inside was a key. The card simply said, “To my heart.” Emma’s eye’s glowed as she looked at Nathan. When she held the key up, he produced a velvet box the key fit. Inside was a magnificent set of earrings the exact colour of her eyes. The deepest richest sapphire earrings, surrounded by diamonds glistened and glimmered.
Emma was last to open her gift. Inside a massive box, she found another and another and another. Everyone laughed with excitement, humour and anticipation. When she finally got to the last box, she found a Christmas card. Inside was a key. The card simply said, “To my heart.” Emma’s eye’s glowed as she looked at Nathan. When she held the key up, he produced a velvet box the key fit. Inside was a magnificent set of earrings the exact colour of her eyes. The deepest richest sapphire earrings, surrounded by diamonds glistened and glimmered. She hurriedly took out her earrings and replaced them with the beautiful gift. Emma dashed to the hallway mirror and found herself completely dazzled. Nathan had followed her. Turning, she wrapped her arms around him and held on. “They are exquisite. Absolutely exquisite. Thank you.” She planted a massive kiss on his lips and held him close.
Nathan hugged her back. “They were special. Something from my grandmother that I thought fit you to perfection.”
Tears glistened in her beautiful eyes, “I’m touched beyond words.”
The rest of the presents were opened with as much delight, hugs exchanged all round. “Ok, time for brunch.” Nathan had previously asked if Jake and Emma would mind a catered meal, which arrived promptly. While eating, the family oohed and awed over all the presents received.
Jake stood, clinked his spoon against his coffee cup, “Please, everyone, your attention for a moment…. I wish to thank you all, individually, and collectively, not only for the beautiful and thoughtful presents you’ve bestowed on each of us, but the blessing of having our family and friends together here to share it with us. You’ve all made this an outstanding and humbling time of sharing and giving.” Raising his glass he said, “Not your typical toasting gear, but … May all of you enjoy a rich and wonderful year with the blessings of good health, happiness, and above all, continued peace.”
“Here here” resounded as one by one, they all concurred. “Couldn’t have put it better, Dad.” Daniel spoke for all.