My daughter lives with my sister and I only get to see her a few times a year due to the price of airplane tickets and gasoline, plus the fact that she must also spend time with her daddy.
This season, while she is away, my sister and the rest of her family gutted my daughter's bedroom and painted it turquoise and sand, put up raffia window treatments, built a new bed, hung a surfboard painted with her name above it.
She will get home to a whole new room, all of her socks lined up in drawers, all of her little girl things transplanted into a teenager's haven, a new flat screen television mounted on the wall.
She will dive back into 9th grade, second semester, the spring play, debate team, cradled in this special Christmas present, braces on her teeth and contact lenses in her eyes.
I am grateful for all of it because I can't afford braces or contacts for her and now she is on their health insurance, claimed as a dependent on their taxes.
I bought her a western pendant with a bucking horse and the word RIDE on it for Christmas.
It got lost in the mail.