For the last year-and-a-half I have had the privilege of building a very close relationship with one of my professors. First I was in a living community based on her class, then took another class with her, and now work as her TA for that same living community program. I have both laughed and cried hysterically with her, and at her. We had a conversation last spring about how she is not a "maternal type" figure. It's true, she isn't, but that hasn't made me any less close with her. In fact, in that conversation I expressed some level of surprise, noting that she was the first teacher I'd ever goten very close to without getting a mom-vibe from them. Professors are kind of like your academic grandparents, not as close as mom and dad, but generally really looking out for your best interests even if they;re a bit crazy. So this certainly-not-a-grandmother, never-could-be-a-mother professor gave me a christmas card the other day. And it was adorable and heartfelt and lovely. And was adressed to me with my initials, just the way my mom does, and in exactly my mom's handwriting.