No forty-year old man enjoys getting gifts as much as I do. Birthdays and Christmas are awesome for a guy like me. But some gifts are just too big to put under the tree. I already have been given them anyway.

1. My Wife. Not only does she put up with me but she seems to enjoy it for the most part. She continues in beauty and I cannot imagine life without her. Actually she might fit under the tree.

2. The Kids. Each one so different and full of so many reasons for joy. I could have never known the love I’d have for them. They also may fit under the tree but we have set up a perimeter around the tree for the protection of remaining ornaments.

3. Our House. It’s like a modern mountain chateau. And though it’s technically our neighbor’s/friend’s, I cannot imagine living in a house I’d like more. We rent a work of art.

4. The Night Sky. I’m clueless when it comes to constellations but a clear night sky is a gift beyond imagination. If we never had it and then was just given to us out of the blue, we would weep with wonder.

5. Friends. We have so many it’s ridiculous. We don’t deserve them. Maybe my wife does. And they are incredible. They have prayed for us and supported us. They make us laugh and they make us teary-eyed with their kindness.

6. All the Music. A man who has the ability to listen to Louis Armstrong play his trumpet, settle into Springsteen’s “Darkness”, breathe in Dylan’s “Freewheelin”, and revel in Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” cannot want for much.

7. Memories. We never think of it till we are old. But all these remembrances and the very ability to recall them because one of our senses has been sounded is a wealth beyond measure given.

8. All the Books. Who would I be without them? They have been constant companions and are my final destination each and every day.

9. My Hometown. We have been back in Birmingham for over 2 years now. Almost seems as if we have never left. I love this place. I love the mountain we live on the valleys we pass through. The people. The restaurants. The roads. It’s all home.

10. Family. We live close to all of our immediate family. Most married couples do not get to enjoy this. We didn’t for a decade. But now we are geographically close to everyone and growing closer to all of them.

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