My dear cousin, Jeanette, has the gift of writing and uses phrases I borrow from time to time. She recently sent an email and mentioned "...skidding into Christmas...". She was right-on-the-mark with that phrase. I did indeed skid into Christmas. I saw it coming down the track like a freight train and tried to apply the brakes in order to make the pre-Christmas feeling last, but I was unsuccessful in slowing down the time. How I wish I had the power to stop time for a little while - just long enough to complete projects and finish cleaning, decorating, and baking with time for a little relaxing and movie-watching before the festivities begin. That's my dream, my goal, every single year, but I always fall short. I won't use the word, "fail" because my efforts were not failures, but there are always things I want to do that don't get done and things I forget. The weeks prior to Christmas seemed more hectic this year than in years past, unless my memory is faulty, and that's a distict possibility. Actually, I do remember being as tired and worn in past years as I was in this one, but time is the great healer. Jeanette expresses exactly how I feel when she suggests (I'm paraphrasing here) we keep trying to present Norman Rockwell versions of Christmas but those fall apart. Why do I feel I need to present a perfect holiday? First, being a flawed human, it's impossible to be perfect at anything.....and second, there is no need to try to be perfect. My family and friends know who I am. They know I am flawed. They forgive my shortcomings (I hope) and support my efforts by their words and actions. I'm the one who is hard on myself. Everyone who came to join us in this new old house during the holidays was very kind and complimentary. It seemed to me everybody had a good time being here. Glenn and I had a wonderful time hosting them. Today I'm forgiving myself for not remembering to give my sister her gift bag that's sitting in the closet, for not remembering to make the delicious grape salad I had planned, for not remembering to let the grandkids bake cookies on Christmas Day as we'd said we would, for not letting my holiday meal warm sufficiently in the oven before serving it, and for not realizing 18 people could NOT sit around the table in the diningroom. None of those things caused the celebration to end. So what if we didn't have a Norman Rockwell Christmas. Who does? If I tried to list all the things that went well, I'd be here typing for a long time. I'm attempting to get a headstart on the New Year by trying to let go of the things I considered shortcomings. I want to move forward and strive to do better. In my life, there is always room for improvement. I sincerely hope your Christmas was merry and that your New Year will be bright and happy.