Christmas for me is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is also a time that brings back memories. As I sit here in front of my computer wonderful thoughts fill my head and heart. My mother is the first person I think of. She has been gone for many years, but not forgotten. She cooked and baked for days before the holiday. In between she cared for six children and my father. Her smile and a hug was always there when you needed it. Her giving ways to others made her special. If someone needed help she was there beside them, doing what ever she could. We were poor and money was tight but she always made Christmas a magical time for us. I can still smell the scent from the baking of cookies, bread and whatever else she was preparing. The scent of pine from the Christmas tree permeated the house along with the smell of the oranges and tangerines. The big pot of gravy loaded with meatballs and sausage sat on the stove. We all would dip Italian bread in the pot to do a taste test for her, as she prepared the dough for the pasta, and mixed the cheese for the stuffing of the ravioli or the manicotti. Tins of cookies were set on the kitchen table for friends and neighbors. I took it all for granted but will never forget. Merry Christmas Mom.