Christmas Noel_StaatsThe weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday have been hectic.  Filled with things to do, people to see, places to go, packages to get, and the usual commotion of the season.  The tree sat unadorned in the house for a week, asking for my attention.  Then family came to visit from Kansas, and I was reminded of what the holiday is really about.  My niece helped me decorate the tree; it now sparkles with lights, and the ornaments are carefully chosen in honor of people, places, or times of our lives.  The packages got wrapped and wait to be given to those we care about.  We filled the days of family with sharing, remembering, laughing, and new adventures — all those things that are familiar and special.  And now that Christmas Eve is here, I pause and appreciate the family and friends that are important to me.  May your holidays be merry and filled with love, and may good memories stay dear in your heart.