Each year as I grow older I have to adapt and accept Christmas and how it has changed for me. I've always loved the month of December ' all the getting together for Church events, the entertaining, the lovely music, the days of preparation before the big day, with baking, decorating the house, and finding suitable presents to each family member, then the week between Christmas Day and welcoming in the new year. Often, I think of when the kids were all home and my favourite day was the 24th, escaping the noises of the family, and going downtown by myself, enjoying the stores and the decorations and hunting down that last item; one year it was candy coated almonds a must from my childhood, and especially being greeted by acquaintances and strangers with a "Merry Christmas." Many happy memories and accepting changes is part of making great new memories each year. Enjoying TV specials is also part of my change, I have time now, but I think my favourite advertisement this year, not really a special, was from Canadian Tire, and many of my friends agree that it brings a laugh every time it is on. A young family is decorating the tree, and the two small children address their parents, "look we are finished." The parents see all the decorations on the bottom half of the tree, and the mother asks, "but where is the star?" We assume it is the little boy who tosses it up for it to land in the middle of the tree, and the very cool father says,"that will work." Maybe a bit of fantasy and clever advertising gimmick, but it did work ' I laugh every time it appears.It also brought back a memory when our youngest and a friend begged to decorate the tree. I had put on the lights and bring out the decorations so they could go ahead. When his older brother by 11 years came into the room he was aghast, "you are not letting THEM decorate the tree it will be a mess." Well THEM did a fair job, and while maybe not surpassing the designer trees we see today, it didn't matter as our trees were always a mishmash of old and new favourites and handmade thingies our kids brought home from school.Christmas always means family time, though one year we didn't come home from Arizona at Christmas and family members didn't come down. My husband and I decided Christmas was what you made it and we decided we would give each other five gifts but they all had to be under $2 each. Christmas Eve I made the usual tourtiere and lit the fireplace and opened out parcels. The next day we met two other Canadian couples and treated ourselves to a full Christmas dinner at one of Tucson's favourite restaurants, the Arizona Inn, an ancient adobe home transformed into a beautiful Christmas wonderland, with decorated cacti instead of the usual green tree.A few years ago, I resigned from doing turkey dinners, another change, and turned the job over to my kids and they do just as good as I did, and, hard to accept ' maybe even a better job. I'm also cutting back on sending cards; I can remember addressing over a hundred each year, sometimes I couldn't remember ever meeting the people who sent us a card and then I reciprocated the next year, I send a few now to people who mean something to me, and I also phone or e-mail, a far better arrangement. This year I found this lovely poem and want to share it with you in all sincerity. Never in the history has a little baby changed so many people. Millions of people all over the world have had their lives changed dramatically. "And there came a voice from heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". (Mark 1:11) I wonder if you know the real reasonI send this card every year at this season?Do you think it's a habit I can't break,Or something I do for customs's sake? I think I should tell you it's something more,For Christmas opens the friendship door,And I find myself reaching across the yearAnd clasping the hand of someone dear. So it's a link I wouldn't want brokenthat binds us together when words are unspoken;For oft through the year we have to forgoExchanging good wishes with those we know. Christmas opens the door of the heart,And whether we're close or far apartWhen I write your name I think of youAnd pause and reflect and always renewThe bond that exists since we first met,And found you someone I couldn't forget. (author unknown) And I do have a recipe ' who doesn't like adding one recipe of a special candy to serve at Christmas? If you have older children in the family, give them the job of making these.White Chocolate Truffles1 pound of white chocolate, chopped1 can condensed milk2 tbsp. orange liquer1/2 pound of white chocolate for dippingfinely shredded coconutMelt the 1 pound of chocolate with condensed milk. Remove from heat, stir in liquer. Chill for three hours, or until firm. shape into one-inch balls and place on wax paper. Chill. Dip truffles in melted white chocolate or roll into coconut. Place truffles on lined tray. Chill. Makes five dozen candies.