One of my favorite things about the holidays is celebrating by getting together with people I love, especially the people of the younger persuasion. This week, I have had meals with three outstanding members of my chosen family who, despite being of different ages and having different life experiences, have one startlingly brilliant quality in common: they are completely fearless each in their own way.

Amanda, who has known Mojo since she was a brand new baby and who is the reason that my cat adores children, knows no trepidation when it comes to trying new foods and therefore eats things normally not associated with children's menus. Her and I (and her lovely parents Daniel and Sue) had dinner at a local steakhouse and Amanda was bursting with excitement at the thought of having snails. She happily munched away, at times being careful to nibble off the wee antennae first.

Scott, the youngest of my friend Michele's boys, is a highly energetic and incredibly funny almost-teenager. Among other things, he likes iced cappuccino, soccer and House (a series that I have forbidden myself to watch, as it pushes all my hypochondriac buttons). Not only does he have more intestinal fortitude that I when it comes to watching medical procedures, but he throws himself into life and physical activity with complete abandon.

Jason, Scott's older brother, is a thoughtful, caring soul who protects his younger sibling, while remembering to subject him to an appropriate level of big brother torture. At an age where conformity and peer pressure can put a lot of stress on a teenager, Jason has the courage to walk to the beat of his own drummer. He seeks his own truth with dedication and spirituality and has already figured out things about life, the universe and everything that I am just learning.

I am lucky to know them all.