I got home exhausted last night. I’m not sure why… it was a busy day at work, but not busier than other recent days have been. Maybe the extra effort of being on my feet all day with a cut on the sole of my foot (still haven’t figured out how that happened). Anyway, I didn’t do anything but make dinner, and then knit and play games with my kids. You can see what little there is to see of Erin here. A hot bath, then to bed with a book.

Along about 1:30 in the morning, there was insistent ringing of the doorbell, and a stranger on the porch looking for his son — a friend of #1 son’s. He had been over earlier in the evening, with a girl who is also part of #1 son’s social set. So I, only partially awake, told his father that he had been over earlier with Firstname Lastname. However, instead of giving the girl’s name correctly, the first name was that of the girl to whose Chanukkah party #1 son is going on Sunday night. The last name was the name of a character in the book I was reading before I fell asleep.

I don’t know the man or where he lives or even his name — the boy’s parents are divorced, and the mother is the one we know. So I had no way to rectify my error when, as I was drifting off to sleep again, I realized what I had done.

Whatever part of our brain is in control when we are half-awake, it functions differently from the part we think with when we are fully awake. Yesterday morning I went in to see whether #2 daughter wanted to get up and work out with me. “Do you want to get up or sleep?” I asked. “Both,” said she. She had no memory of it when she finally got up, but it was probably the truth.

This morning I have a date with all three of the kids to go to the gym at 8:00. My husband is passing on this family outing, for some reason. Then we are to go to the local bakery for croissants for the special breakfast recipe the boys have chosen for Christmas morning. It is a Pampered Chef recipe called “Ham and Cheddar Croissant Bake.” It adds some vegetables to the ingredients in its name, and covers them all with an egg custard. I am also making this other Pampered Chef recipe which is supposed to look like a Christmas tree. The one in the picture is from the chocolate party — I will fill the morning one with fruit and nuts instead of chocolate. These two items will provide us with enough fat and sugar to make the boys feel as though they have been fed properly (for Christmas, that is) before heading out to my parents’ house.

Well, I hope the man found his son. A 16-year-old missing at 1:30 a.m. is not necessarily alarming — often it is more a matter of being in trouble for a missed curfew than of actually being missing. Still, I have had worrying moments like that with my own kids, and know what it is like.

We’ve been having a slight musical controversy at our house. I want Christmas music at this time of year. We have so many different recordings that we can’t hear them all between Thanksgiving and Epiphany, and many of them are so wonderful that I would like to hear them more than once. So I will put on a Robert Shaw Christmas CD — and #1 son will swap it for Sam Cooke or The Kinks.

So it was good last night to come home to his compromise discovery — the Christmas recordings of Smokey Robinson. You can go here and listen to whole crowds of them. My favorite for today is “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” This link is not to Smokey Robinson’s version, which is of course under copyright, but to a pretty snazzy site with midi and lyrics. If you want to sing or play it yourself, this useful site will provide you with not only the mid (in four parts) but also with sheet music for instruments in a number of different keys and for vocalists, as well as lyrics. I am imagining you at your holiday parties, suddenly needing the tuba part, and now able to click on that link and print it out in moments. Or Garth Brooks and Mariah Carey have also recorded it, if neither homemade music nor Motown appeals. It’s Christmas; I won’t argue with you.

This is of course a very popular carol, unhindered by the fact that the vast majority of people singing it think that the first line means something like, “Hey, you merry gentlemen over there, may God give you rest.” Possibly something like “stop worrying,” or even “Shut up, you drunken louts!” Actually, it is more like, “May God keep you happy, guys.” I share in that wish for you. Ladies, too.