The last week of school was interestingly sick. One by one our children came down with the fifth disease. The fifth disease also known as slap face disease is a viral infection usually infecting children between ages 5 and 15. It's a childhood rash accompanied sometimes by a fever. It's contagious until the rash appears. One of our sons had a fever for 4 days. Some of our children had no symptoms until the rash appeared. Now that the holidays have started, most of our children have mended from this illness except for one; give him a day or two, he'll be fine. We have been busy packing snow gear, sleds, skis, clothing, presents and groceries. Making last minute arrangements because we're leaving for a white Christmas. To be honest I'm used to the traditional home for the holidays although I am getting excited with all our secret plans. This year Christmas starts on Dec 22 and ends on Dec 26th! Four full days of quality family time with endless treats, board games, new movies, swimming and snow activities! Dec 22nd after unpacking our children will receive their sentimental gifts, their own pictured mugs, so they can drink hot chocolate, their Christmas night gowns and new board games. I'm really trying to make this not only a Christmas they will remember, a magical one too. Our purpose is not to spoil, it's to make memories. I smile reflecting back on my childhood Christmases when my Mother made everything for us. I awoke to a big green frog, a sock monkey and a homemade cabbage patch doll that looked like my Dad! My Mother spent many hours and thought on our gifts that was and are sentimental to me. Back then the cabbage patch dolls were extremely popular, I remember they were approximately $65.00 each! We couldn't afford these dolls but my Mother duplicated the cabbage patch kids which meant more to me then the ones from factory's. This year I made our family DVD's with music, pictures and different effects. We had a family dinner while watching the DVD's. My Mother cried, which made me cry, which made my sister cry and so on. It was a family coming together, it was touching being able to feel comfortable showing emotion with one another. That is what family is about. That's all I want for Christmas - the true meaning of family and that's being together in body and soul. My teenage daughter made a comment afterwords to me saying, "I didn't realize you still needed your Mother until now" A very observant statement and that's why a forever family for children are so important! My husband's gift hasn't arrived. It's something very special for a hard working loving husband and father. I'm not uptight that it's not here because for the first time for a long time he's leaving home. Anyone who knows us, he doesn't leave our home very often. A special occasion regardless if the missing gift doesn't arrive. We have the next week to look forward too, to spend time with and hopefully have a Christmas" that they will talk or write about like I do. Our home is a place where their story begins and hopefully never ends with endless memories of great times and love. Again, "Merry Christmas" off we go...........to snow!