I'm not really ready for Christmas.
This is not for lack of trying. We here at the homestead have been preparing for Christmas with feverish intensity.
The tree is up and decorated now, and looks rather rakish with its bohemian clutter and its slightly off-kilter appearance. I keep expecting it to break out into song - a Sinatra-like rendition of Oh, Tannenbaum would be entirely too appropriate. If it starts associating with shady characters, though, out it goes.
We have filled the house with baked goods. Two batches of pizzelles have risen to great imperial heights and collapsed into nothingness. Bars, oat cookies, and other sweet things have followed in their wake, and similarly vanished. We are the British Empire of cookies. There's a chocolate-frosted banana cake waiting in the kitchen, and pretty soon it will be joined by Aunt Linda's Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake Of Death, a concoction that single-handedly got me though graduate school.
And the gingerbread! Don't even get me started on the gingerbread. Well, actually, go ahead - it's tasty, attractive, and makes a fine building material.
Kim got the girls going with this year's gingerbread house - a cozy duplex of hardened sugar, with dual chimneys, walkways paved with melted sugar, and artistic decorations in many colors.
With the left-over gingerbread, the girls made cookies and spent last night decorating them with yet more frosting and assorted other small, mostly sugary items.
I even put up our Christmas lights. Not outside this year - between the sub-zero temperatures and the constant onslaught of snowstorms (currently 14" on the ground, and more scheduled for tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night), that was just not going to happen. So our living room is ringed with pleasant blue lights.
I've always loved blue lights. They're peaceful.
But every year, Christmas just seems to arrive faster and with less warning - the baking, the lights, the music, and all that notwithstanding - than the year before. And then it's gone, and I've been sideswiped by another year.
Must be that "getting old" thing.
Ready or not, though, here it comes. The girls really look forward to it and are terribly excited by it all, and I'll just borrow me some of that, I think. They've got it to spare.