We just returned to our home after a lovely two days with family. It was the first time in a long time that we were all together. It was wonderful, special, and bittersweet. It was our first Christmas with our newest family member and our eldest is battling cancer. There are many aspects of celebrating Christmas that have become a nuisance as I’ve gotten older. My complaints are not original. The over-commercialized, plastic insanity that seems to rule season truly cheapens what this time can be. Like many people, the times we lived in forced us to scale down and economize our celebration this year. Instead of spending time running around in crowded stores with bad lighting, I spent my holiday prep time with baking supplies and paints. I can tell you that the gifts I gave this year were more filled with love than any I have ever swiped my charge-card to buy. The gifts I received: home-made granola, photos, and the hemming and repair of clothing are cherished and savored. We played games, prepared food together, laughed, swapped stories, and comforted one another. It’s been a tough year, but right now I feel like millionaire. I wish a merry Christmas to all.