christmas 014 This is as much as I got done on the first sleeve last night. It doesn’t look so good for finishing the sweater today, does it?

However, I spent the morning in church and most of the afternoon making eggnog truffles and still more cookies, so I have not entirely given up hope.

#2 daughter did get home, so we have all the kids home for Christmas for the first time in years. I am so happy about that. We even had Son-in-law over yesterday. We do not at this point know whether we get to keep Son-in-law as our kid after he and #1 daughter divorce, if they ever get around to having that divorce. We’ve never had a divorce in the family, and do not know the custom.

At sundown, the 12 days of Christmas will begin with Christmas Eve. This is pretty exciting, isn’t it? Those of us who observe Advent now get 12 days of unbridled merriment and frolicking. Those who begin celebrating and/or dreading Christmas directly after Hallowe’en generally quit celebrating around noon on the 25th. christmas 005

They’re doing it wrong, that’s all.

Christopher Hitchens did a tacky speech (you can see it on YouTube) comparing the experience of having to tolerate other people’s Christmas celebrations to life under a totalitarian state.

This was tacky because a rich white guy who suffers dreadfully over having to overhear other people’s Christmas carols has no business comparing that experience to life in a totalitarian regime, and Hitchens is knowledgeable enough to know that.

christmas 004My husband recently saw a little human interest story about a football player who puts a dollar in his shoe for luck. “That’s not against the law?” he asked, surprised. He explained that in his country, putting your foot on a picture of a president would land you in jail, and possibly executed. Hitchens should be embarrassed.

It was also tacky because he was standing in front of a Christmas tree and wearing a Santa hat at the time. People who hate Christmas, and especially people who make money by expressing their hatred of Christmas, shouldn’t be wearing Santa hats.

I have an extremely limited degree of sympathy for people who don’t celebrate Christmas and are tired of hearing christmas 015 about it.

I think it must be like my experience of football season. That is, I don’t care about it at all, and yet I am surrounded by the evidences of it. I hear the fight song in the grocery store, and people expect me (not just me, of course; everyone) to base my schedule on the football schedule. The team’s mascot is all over the place, and people talk about football all the time.

Do I get all het up over this? I do not. I also do not put on a team shirt and then make speeches about it. I just go on with my life, and am glad that the football fans are enjoying themselves.

christmas 006 I have been enjoying myself with my holiday preparations. This morning, I brought out all the containers of goodies from the freezer, and I have begun putting together the cookie and candy boxes for distribution today and tomorrow. This is a lot of fun. If you live near me, you could come over and have some.

The other things we are doing today include preparing our unreasonably lavish feast (the boys are going out this morning to procure meatitude and sweetitude for the purpose), practicing the music for this evening, and knitting intensely in hopes of completing that sweater.

We have our presents wrapped and under the tree. We don’t usually do this, but #2 son finally agreed that I could wrap the things instead of getting up early on Christmas morning and causing them to appear magically, unwrapped, under the tree. I appreciate this.

#2 daughter and I are singing “All My Heart This Night Rejoices” in a quartet this evening, and she is singing “Ave Maria” with saxophone accompaniment. We are also preparing “Evening Prayer.” You can hear a little bit of  it as a guitar duet here, and it comes at the end of this YouTube. It is not yet clear whether we will actually sing it in the service, but we will enjoy singing it at home, regardless.

If you are not celebrating Christmas, then you could get a lot of work done today, since so many of us, even if we are at work, will be laughing and singing and eating cookies and generally staying out of your way. If you are celebrating Christmas, then Merry Christmas to you!