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Dear Mr. Hertz,

Christmas at our house has always been a wonderful time. It has always been my favorite time of year. I loved the snow and even the cold as long as it wasn't windy or icy.

I use to spend months getting ready for Christmas. Even when the kids were young and we didn't have much money, I'd try and stretch every penny so that the kids would think they were getting the world. I'd make things for family members. I'd bake all kinds of cookies and make Christmas Jellies and candies. I'd shop at the dollar stores. I loved to decorate and plan the meal. I'd spend hours just getting the food ready and I've have some kind of small token gift under the tree for each relative both on Dick's side of the family and on ours. I loved to shop or even just window shop and right before Christmas would plan a night to drive around and look at all the Christmas lights. We'd "OH and AH" at all the pretty lights.

Christmas was a time for family and friends and being close. We always celebrated on Christmas Eve at our house and still do. Just not as many come any more. We use to have between 30 and 40 people pile in to the house on Christmas Eve. Neighbors and even the homeless would come for a bit of Christmas cheer and food. It was always a special time.

It was a time of teaching the children to put others first. I'd give them all a little bit of money when they were small and help them make a list of who to buy for and then off to the stores we'd go. I remember how each one would labor over finding just the right gift for each person on their list. I tried to teach them that it was not the amount you spent but it was the giving that matter. They even bought for the homeless that would find their way to our house for Christmas Eve.

Then when everyone was gone; Wrapping paper all picked up and put away and dishes washed or at least stacked for the night, Dick and the kids would all go to bed. I'd turn on the Christmas tree lights and lay down on the sofa and listen to some of my favorite Christmas music. My all time favorite was by Elvis Presley, Blue Christmas and of course I loved to listen to I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.

I'd lay with only the tree lights on watching the flickering of the shadows on the wall and wonder what Christmas could have been like. What if I had shared those Christmas's with you? That part of the night was always my favorite. It was quiet and peaceful. It was what I called my time to enjoy the feelings of Christmas. I'd usually drift off to sleep on the sofa but it didn't matter. It was a place and a time to be alone with my own personal thoughts. I use to wish I could just pick up the phone and call and say Merry Christmas.

So, I'm putting this on a web page and it is my very own personal Christmas card to you.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas. Filled with love and happiness. A time with family and friends and lots of hugs. A time for sharing and caring and dreaming. A time for enjoying your kids and grandchildren. A time for knowing you are loved and thought about and have been for a very long time.

If I had ever made that phone call, it would have been only to wish you a Merry Christmas. So listen with your heart this Christmas and you will surely hear:

Merry Christmas Honey.

Ms. Avis