You may be surprised to read that in my family, December 25th is a day of celebration, and not just because it’s a legal holiday. Gifts are exchanged, there is a festive meal, relatives visit and we occasionally dine out. For weeks before we are counting down the days and I’m looking for shopping bargains. The kids are also busy making preparations. Friends and family extend their good wishes.

Because December 25th marks the birth of a special person who, 21 years later, would become my wife and later the mother of my children.

As the story goes, when Jody arrived, a nurse congratulated my mother-in-law for selecting a J name in honor of Jesus. She politely set the woman straight.

Being a Jew born on Christmas has its novelties. Everyone remembers the day. Jody used to always have the day off when she worked in public schools (now, as a yeshiva teacher, it’s just another school day.) And some channel or another always screens her favorite movie, "It’s A Wonderful Life," though we now have our own copy as a backup.

Happy birthday, Jody, and thanks for making the world a better place.