It seems like I HATED the family gatherings when I was little kid. Christmas was OK, because we got all those cool presents. But, having to deal with all of those relatives that you only see 3 or 4 times a year was weird. And when I was young, everybody still smoked and the fog in our living room was disgusting.

But as the years have gone by, I sure found an appreciation for friends and family at the holidays. I love the big feast that we'll have, then I'm ready to win every hand of Continental Rummy and Cribbage. Then I want to sweep the games by beating everybody at Dominos.

But, now that most of the folks gathered are younger than I am, I will probably have to take my lumps on some video games. And I'm looking forward to it.