SNOHOMISH, Wash – The best Christmas gift of the season will not land on the Anderson family’s roof or end up beneath their tree.
This year, it is not about what arrives, but rather, what is already in front of them: their son Travis, who nearly drowned while swimming in the Pilchuck River earlier this year.
“We’re just thrilled and happy beyond belief that our family is while and in tact and together,” said Ken Anderson, the boy’s father.
It was Friday the 13th of July when Travis got stuck under a log while swimming in the river. His mom and siblings quickly recognized the problem and eventually freed him, but not before Travis spent several minutes beneath the water. His mom, Kim, performed CPR, for about ten minutes, which eventually saved his life.
“There was miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle that took place,” Ken said.
His recovery was long and difficult, but that Friday the 13th was the day the Andersons got their gift:
“My life,” Travis said.
With their faith as strong as ever, the Andersons celebrated Christmas Eve at their church Monday night.
“We know that God answers prayers, we know that he hears us and that’s a pretty cool thing,” Ken said. ‘Without living in fear, you learn to cherish the moments you have and to really cherish them, to hold them a little bit tighter and to realize they really are gifts.”
After church, they ate dinner while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Right after flipping on the TV, they saw the scene where George’s brother falls through the ice.
“And his big brother jumped in and saved him,” Ken told his kids.
It only seemed appropriate – just one more reminder of the gift already in their midst.