As a child, I'll admit, I wasn't so sure about the mummers.
Over-sized, masked, jolly individuals, who wanted nothing more than to get inside your home, dirt up the floor, and have a scuff.
One of my earliest memories of Christmas as a child, my younger sister Ashley and I, presumably in our matching festive pajamas, were playing in our bedrooms.
The home I grew up in is still my parent's home today.
Through a grate in the floor above the woodstove in the basement, I heard my Mom call out to Ashley and I, with a sense of excitement in her voice.
I was sure this was my first encounter with the mummers.
I remember feeling uneasy about creeping down the stairs to see what awaited us in our family room in the basement below.
Ashley, being three years younger than me, I recall being a little more easy-going with the descent downstairs - the glow of our Christmas tree filling the stairwell, and Mom and Dad waiting for us below.
I was anxious, nervous and somewhat intrigued, all at the same time.
Mom and Dad had a way of turning our cozy basement into a winter wonderland - snowmen figurines, strings of warm, white lights, red and green Christmas ornaments hung perfectly along the ceiling, and of course, the glow of the fireplace.
It's the same nowadays.
When we finally reached the bottom of the stairs, big smiles across Mom's and Dad's faces, a sudden movement caught my eye - a blur, scurried across the concrete floor near our basement door, around the corner, and into my father's small storage room.
Thank goodness, I thought. No mummers tonight.
Instead, Ashley and I fell in love, for the first time.
The light switched on to the small storage room, and huddled on the then shag carpet, wearing a perfect, red bow, was the most perfect, fluffy little kitten.
Misty was striped with grey, white and black tones.
She will forever be the memory, for me, of my fondest Christmas - a close second to spending my first Christmas at home with my newly wed husband in 2009.
Misty was known for her loud purr. It would wake us up in the night from a dead sleep - just long enough for her to cuddle in next to you, and feel safe.
And when Misty passed on, Ginger, our Garfield-sized orange and white mix, was famous for taking Misty's place during the holidays.
Ginger would sleep beneath the tree, play with the wrapping paper, and observe from her perch next to the fireplace as we opened our presents Christmas morning.
She, too, has since passed on.
Now as "adults," although both Ashley and I would argue we will always be kids, we sometimes share a tear or two when we recall those most special holidays with our pets of years gone by.
And now, those mummers don't leave us on edge the way they once did.
Nowadays we carry on that tradition - to our grandparent's house, aunts and uncles and family friends.
It's a fun night out with all of our cousins.
This year, I will travel back home to Bauline on the east coast, where I'll meet my sister, share some laughs with Mom and Dad, enjoy the lights, the tree, the snowmen and the music.
This year, we'll make even more of those holiday memories.
Christmas will always be, for me, the most wonderful time of the year - and I owe it all to my beautiful parents, and my awesome Ashley.
This year, I hope you and yours will create some beautiful Christmas memories.
Thank you to all of our readers across the Exploits Valley for welcoming me with open arms into your communities, for allowing me to share your stories and take your pictures.
I can't wait to do it all over again in 2012.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year!