What are you most thankful for?

Holidays have a way of dusting off old memories.

Years ago, I worked on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, criminal activity doesn’t pause for the holidays, and after working a long shift on a covert assignment, I finally made it home around 5 a.m. on Christmas morning. I was hoping to grab a few hours of sleep before my 6-year old son woke up. Fifteen short minutes ticked by, and while I was off in the land of Hushabye, my son’s internal Christmas morning alarm went off.

He came running down the hall to wake my wife and me up, exclaiming, “Santa came!” At that moment, nothing else mattered but his excitement and innocence. His smile was contagious, and as I watched him, I wanted nothing more than to go see what Santa brought him.

He wasn’t old enough to know about the storms raging outside our four walls, and until I picked my badge back up, I was going to be fully present with him and my wife.

That memory and many others make me keenly aware of the gift of family. I know many have lost family members or have strained relationships, and I don’t take the blessing of my family lightly.

I am also incredibly grateful for first responders. It is a real blessing to be able to dial 911 anywhere in the country and have a stranger respond with necessary help.

Lastly – and most importantly – I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Sometimes the holiday season hustle veils the true meaning of Christmas, but taking time to reflect helps focus on what is most important.