It has been since Christmas 2005 since I have been able to say that I have had a really nice holiday. New Years Eve, 2005 my mom was in the hospital recovering from a series of small strokes. By the time Easter came in 2006 she had had her "big" stroke and had been told that with her new diagnosis of Amyloidosis, we shouldn't expect more than 6 months with her. Several holidays have come and gone since then, and she is well. It was a year after the stroke and she seemed to be doing better and we were able to move back to California. It was at this same time that we came to realize that there was something different and special about Claire. It wasn't until Oct. of 2007 that we got the diagnosis for Claire, that she had Rett Syndrome. It is very interesting to go through life with two of the people closest to you on the National Organization of Rare Disorders list. It makes me think about the whole Christmas thing so differently. Is it fantastic that God sent his Son to save the world, absolutely. But I have such a different and deeper appreciation for who God is, based on how he did it. The human form is so frail. We are creatures of such complex design. With all the DNA that makes up our body, so much can so easily go wrong. To me, the miracle is not just that Jesus was born a virgin, but that he walked and talked and led a normal life. I am so grateful to get to take the month preceding the celebration of the birth to contemplate how amazing God is, that He loved us enough to send a Savior, and that He is awesome enough to do it like He did.