One thing I both dread and love during the holidays is the family gathering. I dread all the preparations - from buying to wrapping gifts, to finalizing menus, preparing the house, etc. and I love the warmth, love and laughter that ensues when everyone is together despite all the cleaning up and settling down that eventually follows.
Because this is the one time of year when almost everybody shows up, I am always surprised by the changes. How much one has grown, or expanded or slimmed down, turned ravishing and cleared up acne. I am almost always reminded of how old I am when a kid once knee-high turns up at the doorway tall and slim. Or how a once smiling but silent teenager has become quite chatty and my golly gee - engaged and definitely still smiling.