Since mom passed away in 2006, Christmases have never been the same as they were. Mom live for Christmas with the family gathered around the tree and dinner for the whole family. When she left us, so did that amazing Christmas spirit.

This year, for the first time, we had Christmas as a family (significant others and all) at our son, Matt's, house. The family has grown a lot since mom died. She would love to see what it has become, especially Matt's little boy, Evan (my first grandchild). He wasn't here until 2009.

I don't even remember when the last time we had a family picture taken but here, on this day, we made it a point to get Danny and Bonnie, my brother and sister, and I together. The only one missing was mom but I feel she was right there with us, next to the Christmas Tree.

That was Sunday, the icing on the cake. Friday, Bonnie and I took a trip south to do some shopping. Our first excursion together in many years. We topped it off with a trip to Famous Dave's Barbecue. That's some finger lickin' good stuff, if I might borrow a copyrighted phrase for just a second.

Jon and Bonnie
Jon and Bonnie

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Remember, cherish the moments. It's a long time between these holidays and a year can change a lot of things.