Daisylover (is that the flower or a pet, by the way?) replied to my comment that the one thing I hate about Christmas are those who complain about it. Otherwise, I truly adore Christmas. She said she normally liked it but not this year because she never gets any help. It got me thinking. Why do I love Christmas so much? It is a tremendous amount of work and is usually pretty stressful. But, to me, the end result is so worth every bit of stress. This year there really is no money for gifts. So, I'm making everything I can think of making -- cookies for clients, knitting for my daughter, special foods for friends. This on top of moving and working. But I decorate for me. I give gifts because I enjoy giving to other people. I make things because I am a crafty person and it relaxes me and I love when something turns out the way I envisioned. I don't expect anyone to help me with clean up because then I'm just sorely disappointed when they don't and very surprised and pleased when I do get help. So, I suggest we all do exactly what we want to do for Christmas with no expectations of thanks or assistance. Do what makes you happy. If your joy is in seeing your home decorated, go for it. If your joy is in giving the perfect gift to someone, enjoy shopping and wrapping that gift. If you like making things and can find the time, do it. Just do what makes you happy. The world isn't going to fall apart if you don't. (Obviously, this does not apply if you have little ones -- they deserve the decorations, the food, the gifts (which don't have to be expensive).) Turn Christmas into what you feel is right. Other family members will get over you not being there for the big meal, especially when you drop by later with a contented face because you helped others. Better yet, help others the rest of the year -- there are always too many volunteers at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Take Christmas back from the merchants and turn it into the Christmas YOU want. It will be worth it.