At this time of year and as a person becomes older, it is not uncommon to think about past Christmas celebrations.

Everyone has a special Christmas he or she remembers best. The reasons vary. Perhaps it was the first Christmas you remember, and the gifts under the tree. Perhaps it was sharing the event with the newest member of the family.

Most of us remember Christmas at grandmother's house. The grandchildren are busy tearing the wrappings off gifts and then find that special one and forget about the others. At the urging of the adults, they launch back into their stack of packages. And at meal time, all the aunts and uncles and children make for a large group to feed.

Christmas is an important religious celebration, a special time with family and friends and the giving and receiving of gifts.

Christmas is best enjoyed with family and friends.

But a lot of people will celebrate this Christmas holiday alone, or in a far away place.

For those people who served in the military overseas, they also might have had a Christmas or two or 20 not easily forgotten. Even surrounded by close buddies, Christmas without family isn't the same.

As we celebrate, let's not forget family and friends not with us. A card or letter helps close the distance between sender and receiver and shows that we miss and care for them.

Merry Christmas.--gh.

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