I know I shouldn't say this every year, but I do. When I was young, it seemed like every Christmas was the best one ever. I always got the one present I wanted so badly, the same one that I either broke or grew tired of a day or two after it was opened.

I know I shouldn't say this every year, but I do. When I was young, it seemed like every Christmas was the best one ever. I always got the one present I wanted so badly, the same one that I either broke or grew tired of a day or two after it was opened.

Now that I am a wife and mother, this idea takes on a whole new meaning. It's not about what I get, but about making it memorable for my daughter. I want us to make some wonderful family memories. So no pressure or anything, I just have to be sure everything is perfect. I fuss over the tree, the decorations, what to serve and the perfect gifts.

There's added pressure this year because my daughter is 3 1/2 and is starting to "get it." She knows presents will be under the tree with her name on them, and she gets excited at the idea of Santa coming. The way I figure it, I have had three "practice" holidays to get it right.

She will remember some of what happens this year and I want those memories to be beautiful.

There are no more dress rehearsals!

The funny thing is that when I think about my wonderful Christmases growing up, I remember big holiday gatherings with my grandparents still around and tons of cousins to play and fight with.

I remember my dad gathering us around the tree to read the Christmas story before we tore open our gifts. I remember my mom saying once that "Santa wished he could leave us more, but just wasn't able to this year," and thinking we had done just fine.

Most of my memories don't have anything to do with gifts, trees, or fancy decorations. My fondest memories are of family, laughter and lots of love. They are noisy, chaotic and imperfect. My family holidays do not resemble a Norman Rockwell painting, but they are perfect in my mind.

My daughter may not remember what Santa or Mommy and Daddy gave her this year, but I hope she remembers the love. If she doesn't recall what the tree looked like or what we ate, I hope she remembers we were together.

May your holiday be flawed and full of joy!