As I write this I STILL have Christmas cards that haven't been mailed! I refuse to feel guilty...in this moment anyway! My mom has always been big on Christmas. She passed on a love for Christmas to me simply because of all the memories and traditions that we had when we were kids. I think that as I child I always knew how excited Mom was for Christmas and that carried through to me. It is one of the greatest, of many, gifts she has given me. My parents were always big on not having any presents under the tree until Christmas morning...and definitely NO opening any gifts from friends beforehand either! We believed in Santa for many years, although we knew all along that there was a far greater meaning to the occasion. Mom decorated beautifully, baked all kinds of goodies, played all kinds of Christmas music, and we would sing around the piano on Christmas eve. My mom has always loved giving, just like her mom, and she continues to find such great joy in giving us meaningful and fun gifts. Dad always hung the lights, drove us around to see other lights, and we helped him shop for the right gift for mom. Dad and I still head out every year in hopes of finding the perfect thing for him to give her for Christmas. This year was harder for mom as she had to work on Christmas eve and Christmas Day, boxing day and new years day. It made for a different Christmas, but by no means any less special. On Christmas Eve Mom got off work just in time to zip over to the church and for the last 15 minutes of the service and play the piano for a girls quartet that we both sang in. She had the bedding all ready for us when we arrived for our sleepover. On Christmas Day we all got up early, opened our stockings, then onto the pile of gifts! After that Mom went through instructions for dad and I to continue preparing the food that she had got ready in the days leading up to Christmas. I basted that Turkey like nobody's business!!! Dinner was a little later than usual, but just as special. I know that Mom felt like it made Christmas less special, but it didn't for us...it felt great to make it work as a family and enjoy it for what it had to be this year. We all got spoiled, as usual, and enjoyed a relaxing day together. Your desire to always make Christmas special for us is one of the most special gifts you give every year. Thanks Mom! PS...did you notice that after allllll that...there's no picture of mom? Apparently I didn't take one single picture of my mom this Christmas...sorry mom...I'll make it up to you!