It’s finally here — the long awaited, but still always sneaks up on you holiday — Christmas!

I have to admit I started out strong this year getting my Christmas decorations up and going Christmas shopping, but then I had just one or two gifts left that turned into 10 more gifts left to buy because my boyfriend waited until the last second to decide that he should buy gifts for people. That really shouldn’t be my problem, but I’m the gift-buyer for some reason.

It’s Friday and I still have two more to go and the thought of re-gifting some things I no longer need has crossed my mind, but I probably won’t…probably.

For the first time ever, I became the person watching the Hallmark Christmas movies this year. I can’t tell you how many cheesy Christmas movies I watched, but you know what, I truly enjoyed them all.

Usually I only have three Christmas movies that I have to watch at Christmas time: “The Santa Clause,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story.”

When my sister and I were younger, my parents, my sister and I would watch a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve right before bedtime to help us go to sleep. Usually we watched “The Santa Clause,” but sometimes we changed it up.

With all the excitement of Santa coming, we just couldn’t fall asleep easily so the movie helped calm us down to fall asleep.

One time we almost caught Santa putting our gifts under the tree. We heard something in the living room so we ran through the house and there we found an ornament that Santa must’ve knocked off in his rush to escape without us seeing him.

Like I’ve mentioned before in this column, my family is from Kentucky so we usually weren’t able to celebrate the holidays with them, but one year we did.

We were at my granny’s house with all my cousins, aunts and uncles and all of us kids were taken upstairs to be put in bed. That’s when Santa came.

“Ho, ho, ho!” he yelled as he left the house without a sound.

Of course we ran downstairs, but we were too late.

I love those memories. My granny and some of my aunts and uncles may not be around anymore, but I love thinking back on that memory and how excited not only I was, but they were to see us kids having fun together that Christmas.

For those of you who are missing someone this holiday season, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

It’s hard and nothing I or anyone else will say will change that. I know.

But think of that birthday celebration they are enjoying in heaven - that has to be something special.

Merry Christmas and I hope that all of you make some new special memories this year as well.