News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Christmas morning concludes a busy week at Wright home

Christmas at our house has been going on for a week, and it won't start winding down for a few more days.

I'm not sure if I'm bragging or complaining that we anticipate sleeping 12 people for several nights. We will add a couple more for Christmas lunch. Richard McCann, our assistant managing editor, and his wife, Brenda, agreed to join us.

Christmas started last Sunday when Regina and I went to Tuscaloosa to pick up Elina, a Russian journalist who is getting her doctorate in communications at The University of Alabama. She calls us her American parents. We call her our Russian daughter. From there, we drove to Andalusia, near the Florida line, to pick up Granny Grace, Regina's mother.

While we've waited for more family to arrive, Elina and I have been cooking for each other. She likes my cornbread. In exchange, she fried cabbage, Russian-style, which is a stand-alone meal.

Lynn and her family arrived Friday and Mary Grace and hers showed up late Saturday.

If I'm correct, the living room is strewn with boxes and wrapping paper this morning. A bowling alley that's supposed to be non-threatening to floors, furniture and walls is the highlight of the morning because it is loud. And our grandsons, Trey and Wright, are squabbling over ownership.

A play kitchen for Ruby Gray has her and her cousin Emma Grace scrambling plastic eggs and washing plastic frying pans.

Christmas is not always this way at our house. Like so many others, our daughters and their families show up every other year.

I always think about my Dad at times like these. After lunch on Christmas, he quietly vanished, slipping out the door, rain or cold, and was gone for an hour or so.

He had to check on his cows.

We joke that happiness is seeing the glow of your children's SUV taillights as they head off after a visit. But I can also remember happiness being the headlights pointing the way home for us. I suspect that still holds true.

Christmas is about being with family, and we've enjoyed getting ready for them.

Merry Christmas!

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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