How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

The most meaningful holiday gift for me has been family. When I was growing up, the holidays meant going to my grandparents’ home and visiting with all of my extended family for the day. All of the out-of-town cousins would be there, and the happiness of being surrounded by loving parents, grandparents, and extended family was always joyous and comforting.

Of course, as we grow older, the family dynamic changes, and these gatherings evolve; we don’t see a lot of the faces that gave us such love and comfort when we were young. As older generations pass on, the families may drift away from these full-family gatherings and divide into different family clusters so that we no longer see the relatives we gathered with in our youth. Being an adult and parent brings a different set of emotions to these gatherings, and in my case the family gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving as an adult just did not give anything like the feelings of comfort and love that I had experienced as a child.

Upon meeting and marrying Janet, I was given the gift of her family. My mother-in-law loves to have the family gather for a feast and fellowship at Thanksgiving. This house full of laughter, love, and fellowship on Thanksgiving day is very much like the comfort and love that I remember from childhood. This experience is a hint of the unconditional love that our Lord has for us. I am very much blessed to be given this gift every year in my mother-in-law’s home.

Prayer: Thank you God for all your blessings to me and my family, for the strength you give me each day, and for all the people around me who make life more meaningful.

Mark Cann

About the Contributor

Mark Cann, Sr. has been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 1995. He is married to Janet and father to Mark Jr. and Betsy.