Ten kinds of candy, a "Grinch Stole Christmas" inspired tree, and a lot of busy hallways later I am very satisfied and thoroughly exhausted! Since I can first remember Christmas has unquestionably been my favorite time of the year. As a result I have made little progress with the completion of my new webpage or with much else to do with writing. I will admit the constant urge to simply sit down and write has nearly driven me mad, but it was worth every smile and cheer that was the result of all the hours spent on holiday preparations. If anyone had told me, when I was a child, that I would one day become the unofficial Christmas cook I would have laughed uncontrollably and told them they were mad. Fate however has a way of taking its own course. For many years my grandmother was overseer of all of these cheerful responsibilities- making all the delicious treats, putting together trays to deliver to loved ones, having the brightest house on the street. Sadly, a few years ago she passed away and heavy with grief no one held much desire to carry on with these time consuming traditions. In an effort to keep the tradition and the joy of the holiday alive I took it upon myself to pick up where she left off. Having spent most of my life preferring the smell of the engine oil as my dad worked on a car to the smells of a kitchen, it was the first time I attempted any sort of legitimate cooking. Since that point I have continued to perform most of the cooking, decorating, and some of the wrapping, each year. I love every moment and wouldn't take it back for anything- especially the glow on my son's face as he watching me work. As much as I enjoy this special time however, I must admit I am thrilled to put my fingers to the keyboard again. That said, the greatest accomplishments begin with a strong desire so it is the perfect way to start a new year.