Christmas with Our Family

One of my sisters-in-law lives in another state. She and her family celebrate Christmas with her husband’s family in December, and they come to Georgia in January to celebrate with us. This past Christmas we gathered the first Saturday in January at my mother-in-law Peggy Smith’s home. We were expecting a full house – one dog, 6 children, and 9 adults.

One of the adults was the new man in my mother-in-law’s life – Stan Cottrell.

Mr. Cottrell had told her several months before that he was separated from his wife, Carol, he had agreed to her demands to give her all his assets, and that the divorce papers were with the lawyers.

He had pledged his love for my mother-in-law and invited her to accompany him on a trip around the world when he would run 66 miles in 66 countries in 66 weeks. At the time she had no idea that none of this was true. She was glad that he was planning to join us for our family Christmas celebration.

My niece, two nephews and I took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. By the time we returned all the family members had arrived. We all gathered in the kitchen and held hands while my 12 year old niece said the blessing. After we ate dinner together we played Apples to Apples, and some of the children and adults played hide and seek. Then we all gathered in the living room to take turns opening gifts.

Mr. Cottrell arrived about half way through the gift exchange.

Among the gifts he received from my family were a Yorkie poster, several shirts, a Christmas picture frame with pictures of Peggy’s grandchildren, and dog snuggies for his dogs, Sir Winston and Lady Katherine.

My 84 year old mother gave him a blanket she had made herself.

I wonder where the gifts are now? I wonder what he told his family about where he got them?

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