I was just shy of my 16th birthday and it was two days before Christmas, when fire raged through my family home and burned everything we owned -- including the Christmas tree and gifts. Now this may seem horrible for most as far as a memory, but waking up Christmas morning to the realization that material things can be replaced, but your family cannot be, is a lesson I will treasure for eternity. We were safe and alive!
On that Christmas morning, the article of the fire ran in the local paper and the doorbell to the friends home we were staying at began to ring - NONSTOP. Complete strangers were taking time away from their own holiday to bring clothing, food and even wrapped presents to me and my sisters.
Squeeze your family and friends a little tighter this year. As one of my "family" members said this year, it's not about presents, but presence of family/friends together that counts.