I married into a Jehovah’s Witness family, so I have not celebrated Christmas since 1994. They believe real Christians shouldn’t celebrate a holiday that has its origins in pagan Roman traditions because first century Christians did not celebrate birthdays or Christmas. I suppose they have a point. But being a Jehovah’s Witness is not really who I am any more. The faith has left me more or less alone and isolated, and I don’t have much to do with them any more. My son is in the Marine Corps, a situation that caused him to be disfellowshipped and thrown out of the faith. I am celebrating the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas with my son, home on leave. He came home in time to help with my hospitalization recently for a heart scare that turned out to be nothing. While all of that was going on, I self-published my novel Snow Babies, a book that is built from a lot of old Christmas memories and holiday regrets. We always need to do more to help others. We need to come together more and care more and feel more and remember. Christmas is a time when people traditionally respond to those needs. So I am living with that heightened sense of a special time of year again, for the first time in a long time. And it means everything to me. So that is it for the moment. This is my merry time, and I have to hold on to every bit of it that I can.