A Magnotti Christmas

Sometimes I go to post a little something to Facebook and it turns into a lotta something… I think I will start calling these posts FaceBLOGS. That’s what happened to my little summary of the Magnotti family Christmas. It should give you all an idea of how we are doing. I posted it on Facebook yesterday but wanted to make sure that our blog readers got an update too. And, I’m sure you wanted to see these pictures of Austyn’s first Christmas, too! :]

On Christmas Eve we were expecting a rush order of medical supplies to arrive at our house. We always celebrate the 24th of December with my side of the family so my brother and his wife and two daughters were there, my mom and my little sister too. Nick had fought through his pain and nausea to be a part of the gathering for about an hour. But just before we were going to watch a movie and open presents, it got to be too much. I helped him get settled back in bed. He felt horrible physically and was so upset that he had to excuse himself early. He just wanted to feel better enough to talk to my brother about work, to play with his nieces and daughter, and to even just watch everyone open the gifts that he and I picked out so thoughtfully together. All I could do was hold him and tell him I was sorry and that I wished I could change it. We prayed together and he slowly drifted back to sleep.

When I got back downstairs, we all sat down to open gifts and I realized that this was the very first time I was celebrating a holiday without my husband present in over six years. At first, I thought I might cry but then I thought about how blessed I am that I got to have him there for every holiday for that long. How blessed I was that he was just upstairs sleeping and that I could recount all the gifts given, the kids’ faces and the jokes to him later that night. Considering that this will probably be his last Christmas, I am beyond lucky that he is still lucid, honestly.

As I was contemplating all of the positives that I could possibly muster out of the fairly depressing scenario, the doorbell rang. I got to the door just as my three year old niece did.

A man, probably in his early forties, is there with the delivery and the typical form to sign. “Sorry you have to be out on Christmas Eve,” I say earnestly. “It’s ok. It’s not like I have any kids to celebrate with or anything…” He glances down at my niece who has her cute little arms wrapped around my legs.

He’s walking away with an extra slump in his step. That was so far from my intention. “I hope you have a Merry Christmas!” I shout after him. “Doubt it.” He shouts back.

I add one more thing to my list: Thank you God for allowing me to see the positives when it is so easy to only see the negatives.

My friends…. if you worked this Christmas, be thankful you were able. If you got to see family, be happy that you can. If you ate even one hot meal yesterday, you had more than over half of this world’s population did.

Happy is not what I am right now. What we are going through IS extremely, terribly sad. But Joy is something else entirely and it is something that, by the grace of God, we are experiencing daily. He has granted me (at least in this moment) the ability to see the big picture.

I am so beyond grateful for this perspective. I pray over and over that it lasts forever. I never want to forget the lessons that I’ve learned.

Thank you, God, for the most amazing gift of all. Thank you for Jesus, who made it possible to spend eternity with our God and our loved ones. What a truly priceless gift, especially this year.

Oh, and for the record, Nick WAS able to sit by the tree on Christmas Day and open stockings and presents with Austyn and I. AND, he was able to stay downstairs while his family was here to celebrate into the afternoon.  God. Is. Good.

May the Hope, Peace and Joy of Christmas be with you always.

Post Tags: , , , , ,


  1. Pam G-O says:

    Mmmmm….sooooo much good, thank you so much for sharing.

    Continuing to send prayers of comfort and ease when needed.

    Ehugs for now,


    • Joseph Guggino says:

      Yours is the true Christmas/Gospel message, and hearing these blogs from you, as well as my niece in a very similar situation, is God’s ultimate “alignment tool” when I’m so affected by my own SO trivial struggles. I’ll also share what I just read in one of my favorite books:

      “Our Prayers Create Us. When we celebrate New Year’s Day, and maybe Easter too, we celebrate a symbolic rebirth of time. We somehow hope for God to do new things with us and for us. We wait for the coming of grace, for the unfolding of Mystery. We wait for the always-bigger Truth.

      Such humble waiting and open-ended expecting allows us to fall into what Thomas Merton called “a hidden wholeness.” One does not create or hold onto such wholeness (holiness?) consciously—it holds onto us! Our common code word for this hidden wholeness is quite appropriately “God”! When we agree to love God, we are precisely agreeing to love everything. When we decide to trust God, we are also deciding to trust reality at its deepest foundation.

      But we cannot just wait. We must pray too, which is to expect help from Another Source. Our prayers then start both naming us and defining us. When we hear our own prayers in our own ears and our own heart, we start choosing our deepest identity, our biggest future, and our best selves. We fall into our own hidden wholeness.”

      Adapted from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, p. 154

      May God continue to bless you with the whole picture.
      love, Joseph Guggino

  2. Allison says:

    Blessed is our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has showered His grace and peace upon you and Nick, in ways that are FAR beyond human understanding. I am truly so glad Nick was able to enjoy most of the Christmas fun with you and Austyn! Truly, it is the little things, isn’t it? Looking at the tree lights, being with family, seeing the wonder in a little one’s eyes.

    Your posts bless so many people. When the dark days come, please remember to read them again, so that YOU will find the strength you have given to so many others.

    Blessings and love in Christ Jesus,

  3. You and your family are so brave and so awesome. I pray for all of you every day and GOD is truly with each and every one of you. May GOD bless and keep you all in his loveing arms!!!!!!!!!

  4. Well “kids”…sometimes I don’t like being a nurse as I know pretty much what you all are going through on a daily basis…to have time to blog is truly a miracle (as are your pictures!)….Many days I pray for Nick to have 1 hour without pain…every day I thank God for Nick having another day here with the both of you…I also thank Him for your extended family whom I love and miss(after moving to another state)….Grace, strength, love, commitment, and faith are your shields…May others have eyes that “open” to what you are sharing about life, love , and who God truly is….Respectfully, MB

  5. Kathy Nelson says:

    You are such an inspiration to us all. “We walk by faith and not by sight” is a scripture being lived out so beautifully in your testimony. Your God is creating what it takes to get you through, step by step. He will continue to grace you with Himself as each moment goes by. You are continually in our prayers and hearts.

Leave a Reply