Ken always got a kick out of Dad when he’d say, “Ok kids, time to box up all your presents again so we can take them back to the store!”  It was after all “boxing” day. Initially, Ken thought “what?!” since between visiting and eating the day before, he had barely played with his toys. Realizing it was just another tease in a string of family teases, Ken soon started getting in on the act, smiling and pointing to one in Dad’s pile, saying “ok, you first!”  Grinning ear to ear as he said it, with chuckles all around as we got busy tidying up the living room for what was usually another group of visitors soon to arrive. So it was during the Christmas and the Holiday Season. How I miss Ken at this time of year, his laugh, the twinkle in the eyes as he watched others open the gifts he wrapped so carefully, waiting for the surprise he knew would appear on our faces when we saw what was inside. The joy he felt for giving gifts sparkled as much as the lights on the tree, as he saddled up next to the recipient to show them how the gift opened, where the button was to turn it on, or making sure we knew just how many pockets the garment had or where the hood was. Whatever the gift, in Ken’s eyes it had a story that needed to be told, and to me that was just as big a part of the present as the item itself. Ken’s joyful spirit was alive every waking minute of his day, but at Christmas, it shone through brighter somehow for us all as we opened our treasures. We were one of those families that watched each other open our gifts one at a time, painful for some I know, but for us it was a special part of Christmas that made it so memorable and thoughtful. The gift is truly in the giving, and Ken helped us remember that with every ribbon and bow we untied. I still feel so lucky to have Ken in my life through my memories and in my heart, and I felt his presence as I watched family unwrap their gifts this year as it reminded me fondly of another Lesson from my Brother. He so effectively taught us it’s not what’s under the tree or inside the parcel but the “present” that is inside us all if we just take the time to feel it.  May the spirit of the holiday season, the love of family, the gift of giving, be alive and well within you.