Well, we are off tonight for our family Christmas Dinner. We have to do it early in December because Jon's family is so big, with so many newly married couples or new babies that it is a real stretch to get everyone in one place at once. His two sisters share the holiday meals, we had Thanksgiving at the farm and now we are going to his other sister's just a short way out in the countryside (not a farm.) This is a massive undertaking for Jon's sisters. Just try to seat 35 to 45 people for supper, and manage the house and decorations and the parking and...and...and.... I LOVE MY SISTERS-IN-LAWS. If we had more than two parking spaces, we'd help, but...we are limited in space and you wouldn't be able to breath if you squished his family in here. Heck, we'd have to seat people for dinner rotationally. It just wouldn't work. So, I get off easy, but I do add to the festivities and the food. I bring my famous potato dish (small potatoes halved, baby carrots, both red and white onions and big chunks of sweet potato all cooked down at a low heat with lots of olive oil and Vegeta spice., it's loved by everyone. And tonight I'm bringing a spinach dip with spiced Nan bread toast points for the appetizers. My other sister-in-law is bringing a 26 lb turkey with stuffing and gravy and her famous Caesar salad. Ah, the food just flows and flows, and the drink (burp)...it's yummy and lovely and the decorations are beautiful and the children are all amazed, and happy. It's a wonderful night. And eventually, Jon's brother-in-law gets out his guitar and sings for everyone, and we all join in. It's a great night. After the meal the men disappear downstairs to play cards and the women clean up and talk; the young marrieds and the few young singles play pool or just sit and chat. And, of course, the very heart of the family, the babies and toddlers play with their toys and amuse everyone with their childlike joy. For me this is Christmas.... Christmas is Family, and Love, and Tolerance, and the certainty that the Best is Yet to Be. Blessing on you and your family this Christmas Season, and if you don't celebrate Christmas, Blessings on your festivities, whatever they may be. And, especially, Blessings on our Mastiff Family, both far and near. May your celebrations be bright, and full of happiness and may our Mastiffs enjoy every minute in the loving glow of their families. Poor Bailey is left behind tonight (no dogs allowed), but she is being entertained by our friends and will have a nice evening with her friend Molly dog.... No Sad Mastiffs tonight. And, I think, a small piece of turkey might make its way home to brighten her spirits when we pick her up.