I took a break and haven’t been near the computer – except for keeping up with posting new chapters and the holiday greeting - since December 17th. I realize now that I should have warned you – but I’m paying for my thoughtlessness – over 300 email messages greeted me this morning and about 200 are still waiting attention. (I have got to learn how to set up an automatic Out of Office reply).
But Christmas actually happened with a lot more calm, this year, once I got it into my dim skull that not every single decorative tchotchky I have ever collected had to be dragged out of the garage and artfully placed somewhere in the house, or that, for once, the small styrofoam candy canes did not have to be poked into the ground in the flower beds, once the outdoor lights were up, that the horizontal tree circling the living room (read giant “evergreen” swag left overfrom the original CHRISTMAS DRAGON workshop productions) could remain naked except for its miniature lights (the things we come up with when kittens have wandered the house: the main tree is in the big back room, where cats are allowed only under supervision), and that I am not compelled to cook a meal for hundreds on Christmas Day.
This year – oops, it’s Last Year, now – we did Pot Luck and it worked out wonderfully. I was actually prepared for our guests (we will ignore those years when I was on my knees pulling holiday glassware out of lower cabinets as guests were arriving – not a pretty sight) and was able to sit down and talk and eat and everything!
My sister Andi showed up with her fella, Mark, and my newest nephew, Boden, who is all energy and under-two enthusiasm. Boden has a crown of blond curls, a great laugh and (I swear) elf ears! It was great to have a wee one in the house for the holiday – all the grandkids are practically grown-ups, if not there already.
I’m catching up with office stuff for the next few days. The holiday decorations will stay up through Twelfth Night – and maybe through January 14th if things get too rambunctious schedule-wise. I am determined to get back to the new book before the end of the month!