December 2006 we found ourselves back at Maine Medical Center. Having developed an infection in her liver, Mom was in for an extended stay. One week turned into two and although she felt better each day, her doctors did not feel good about sending her home. So we made the best of it. Reclining in the hospital sleeper chairs we would set up our portable Dvd player, watch White Christmas and talk about the Christmas pageant I was preparing for. As Sunday School teacher I had been struggling to spend time caring for my mom and getting everything ready for the much anticipated annual event. I would often bring costumes to the hospital to make alterations and embellishments. I had delicately fastened a feather boa around the collar of my high school graduation gown for the Angel Gabriel’s costume and put it on to get my mothers opinion. She smiled and complimented my work, then begged me to put on the rest of the outfit. Relenting I placed the glittering vine crown on my head and slid my arms through the elastic straps of the wings. Bright as ever, a smile spread across her face, “It looks wonderful!” She decided then and there that she would be at the church that weekend. I stood at the end of her hospital bed feeling a little silly, but glad that I could lift my mother’s spirits. In the end, she lifted mine. With her usual sense of humor, she said, “Could you get me some ginger ale, but take that off first. If anyone sees you walking around here [the oncology floor] like that they’re going to think you are here to get them.” She did make it home that Saturday after making it clear to her oncologist that she would not be spending Christmas in the hospital. Each year that we continue to reenact the story of the birth of Jesus, I am reminded of that Christmas with Dinah, and how despite what could be looked at as an imperfect holiday season produced some of my happiest memories.