It is at this moment, when I suddenly realize that if I haven't done it yet, it isn't happening, that I finally settle down and experience the beauty and warmth of the meaning of Christmas. The pressure is gone and I am happiest. The family is coming for the holidays and we all have everything we need. We are blessed. It is snowing for the seventh straight day, and Jerry continues to plow the driveway and those driveways of our neighbors. The carpet guys are coming in 20 minutes, and we are ready for them. All the shopping is done, and we are planning meals and breakfasts and campfire snacks. This is what it's all about, and tonight when they turn down the lights at church and start to sing Silent Night while everyone lights a candle, I am at peace with the world. Of course, that starts the sobbing, because I cannot hear Silent Night on a candlelit Christmas Eve without falling apart like a blubbering fool, but as we discussed last week while decorating the Christmas tree, I'm not alone. Our friends Dan (the bee guy - I wonder when that will be unnecessary as you will all know him, maybe now?) and his wife Jennie are coming tonight for a slumber party, and we will be doing the Santa thing in the morning. Their dog Angel is joining us, as there is always room at the inn. Allison is looking forward to Christmas morning as she has been assured that we don't have to wait for the others to get here. They are arriving at what we call "Jackie Time", which means you should make your plans and know that they will get here when they get here. Otherwise it's too much waiting! There are Christmas traditions everywhere we go, and I am reminded of ours. We don't have to keep the secrets anymore, so here we go. Jerry always read the Polar Express to Nicole and Brian, and still can't read the book or see the movie without getting misty eyed. I had never heard of it until we met, and I am now a huge fan. We will be seeing them soon, and we can't wait. My kids were raised on the audio version of "The Stingiest Man In Town" which my Father and Mother raised us on. It is the live recording of a Alcoa Television Production of the Scrooge story. My Dad was a stagehand for the show, and it was his favorite. It still brings me to tears. So now we're all crying at Christmas. I guess it's because sentimental is in full force during this holiday. I can remember leaving the cookies for Santa and the carrots for the reindeer, leaving out a bag of what wrapping paper we had left for Santa to use in case he ran out (Spoiler Alert! so as not to give away the familiar wrapping paper - how clever!) The torture in the morning of waiting until the cameras were ready, and the coffee had perked. You can't do Christmas without coffee. That still applies. The earliest Christmas for me is recorded at 5:30 A.M. That was the year we lived on Avenue A in Port Washington and Walter was on deck since 4:00. I just couldn't hold him off anymore. Now I'm the one waking up the kids when they're home, because I just can't wait. I want to spend every waking moment with them, not watching them sleep. The circle of life. So today I am recalling Christmas past, and missing my folks, and Christmas present, because I still can't wait, and Christmas futures - who knows? We are blessed to have blended our families and I am in awe every day of how much we all care for each other. That is a gift. I wish you all a Merry Christmas wherever you are, and whomever you're with. God Bless Us Everyone.