Christmas 1982 - Ta-daaaaa!! Me, my brothers and cousins usually provided the after-dinner entertainment for the family gathering, jacked up on some sugary dessert, no doubt. (that's me - crazy girl with the braids)

This was an especially memorable Christmas (1976) because my grandfather made me my own mini stove and refrigerator in a dazzling varnish-coated plywood, long before Pottery Barn Kids' more souped-up versions. The doll was named "Pumpkin".

This is me and my little brother, Josh, circa 1978. Dig the bedhead? I got my first pair of roller skates and he got a shiny new tricycle, so we were definitely happy campers.

I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas!
Christmas is a very special time for me and always has a way of stirring a lot of different emotions. It's a time to reflect on not only the year past, but the years past as well. To remember all that I've been blessed with, but also to remember the loved ones who are no longer with me and all of the special Christmases I spent with them. When I was little, there was the rush of expectation and euphoria associated with what presents I would receive. I could never eat or sleep very well because I was so excited. That's not quite the case any longer, but as I think about why I celebrate my Saviour's birth, deeper feelings leave more of a lasting impression on my heart than the fleeting excitement of what was under the tree for me. I am truly blessed and no matter what the future holds or what tough times I have faced in the past, I have a lasting hope and peace that transcends time and circumstances. I always think about that scene from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" where the Grinch is poised looking over "Who-ville", gleefully anticipating the devastation that will inevitably result in their community because he has done everything in his power to steal everything that he thinks holds value for them. Much to his surprise, his gloating is met with the sound of joyful, grateful, overcoming voices. Voices demonstrating the fact that celebrating Christmas has so much more to do with where your heart is, than what you may have or do to celebrate it. That kind of joy can't be stolen by anyone or anything.

I am so grateful for each of you (readers, clients and fellow bloggers) and wish you a very Merry Christmas. For my wonderful friends who don't celebrate Christmas, a very Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza - you guys get to spread out the fun!