WHEW. Christmas is over. All of that build-up, all of those commercials, all of the shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, decorating. Done. It's hard to believe, but in a way, it is a relief, too.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
WHEW. Christmas is over. All of that build-up, all of those commercials, all of the shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, decorating. Done. It's hard to believe, but in a way, it is a relief, too.
Christmas day at my house was different from any other year. I was not myself...absolutely exhausted from a Christmas Eve that ran non-stop from 5 a.m. to midnight. I hadn't had a day like that for a long, long time. Unfortunately, I paid for it Christmas day.
Oh, the grandkids loved their presents, and they enjoyed the festivities. That makes everything special. The adults, though - it was rough. But, we all made it through - barely scathed, hardly worse for wear.
There were some lessons learned, and promises made that we never repeat the mistakes we made. 1) Don't sweat the small stuff. If the house is not perfectly decorated or spotlessly clean - it's okay. 2) If there are not dozens and dozens of fresh-baked goodies in the canisters and refrigerator - it's okay. 3) If fences just can't be mended, we must move on and accept the inevitable.
For me, though, Christmas is not about how many presents are under the tree. Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and the love he brought to the world.
Christmas is about love and giving to others; opening your eyes and your heart to others who are struggling, and reaching out to help in any way you can. I was so fortunate to find a community of Secret Santas who did just that.
There was a family that needed a Christmas for their children, and these Secret Santas joined together to provide the family with gift cards, cash, clothing, gifts and toys for the children, candies and fruits and cookies, and some assistance to get their electricity and water restored. This family is living nearby with friends until things get resolved with their utilities.
I would like to especially thank these generous Secret Santas for their kindness and thoughtfulness, and because of all of you - these children had the most wonderful Christmas - the very best one in their entire lives! I will never forget how all of you just said, "Yes, I will help" - even though Christmas was one day away.
Each of you made my Christmas - and, when everything else was in chaos in my personal life - you made my cry, you made me smile and you made this family believe in the Christmas spirit.
Happy New Year...may it be all that you want it to be - healthy, adventurous and full of family, friends, music, peace, love and hope.
And most important - a year of love unexpected.