What a glorious day! The sun is shining brightly. There is just enough snow to cover the ground and trees and it looks absolutely beautiful. My home is warm and comfortable. Christmas lights are twinkling on the tree, on the railing and in the windows. Treasured decorations are on display. Gifts are all wrapped and waiting to be delivered to our loved ones. I am getting ready to whip up a batch of my mother’s Scotch cookies. I may even need to do a few mocha cakes to make the season complete. I have a thankful heart for all the Christmases that have come before this one. My Mom and Dad certainly went all out to create wonderful Christmases for us when we were kids and many of those traditions came into our home as we raised our four children. I am also feeling peace today and taking deep breaths to truly appreciate the gifts of this day. I talked to my daughter for a few minutes this morning and even though she is so far away I feel such happiness when I hear of her little family enjoying and tackling the approach of Christmas 2014. Her new home is decked out with Christmas lights that I will not see but take comfort in knowing they shine where she is. Too sentimental? I don’t think so. This is a day and a season to be sentimental and I embrace it all. My parents are in Florida doing their Christmas things in the sun amongst new found friends instead of family but I am so happy that they are able to do that. They will always remain a part of my Christmas. Later I will spend time with my friend Marlene in her new home. I will help her wrap, even though her wrapping standards are stricter than mine. I remember how the simple gifts we gave each other as kids meant so much to us; a sweater with puffy sleeves, three bags of ketchup chips. We will have supper together using the China Wok gift certificate I gave her last year with her Christmas present. How quickly the years go and how valuable our time together is.