So, it all comes down to this - a lot of bustle and running around, a few hours and a lot of ripped paper, some good food, lots of hugs and a sense of relief and contentment.
My friend said it best last night, "It's nice to know that out there in the world there is someone who loves you just the way you are." And that is very true. I got to spend the holiday with all the important people in my life and I feel very loved. Not because of gifts (which I gave and received), but the genuine enjoyment of each other for the day.
Next year, I'm going to come back and read this before the holidays so that when I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I will see what it is all about and remember this afterglow feeling.