When I was a child, December was a magical time of the year. Although I am a Jew, I still felt the magic of the Christmas season, due to my two good friends being Catholic. I guess I just lived vicariously through them. Yes, we have Chanukah, with the Menorah and presents but as a child, it was just not the same as that Christmas tree. I remember helping Janet decorate the tree, and buying presents for my Christian friends. Also, growing up in Manhattan, where the stores are all lit up, and there is actual snow, you really get into the spirit. When I got older, I married two Christian men (one at a time) and had a Christmas tree for my children. I hosted Christmas parties, even inviting my parents, who long ago accepted my “closet” Christianness. Now that I live in Augusta, and although my friend’s family has adopted me for the holidays, I still find I have lost that “Christmas” spirit I had years ago. But, I have recently begun to attend a real down to earth Church, where I can dress in jeans and the music is rock. Somehow it gives me a sense of peace and comfort—something I almost never achieve—and lets me embrace my “inner Christian.” Although Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, I believe that it is also a state of mind that transcends religious affiliations and is about Hope and Love. I think I am becoming re-infected with the Christmas bug—an infection that I hope I don’t ever get over.