12 Here are my “after” pictures. I recognize that there may not be much visible difference, but it was an improvement. Really.

Further cooking and baking took place as well, and then #1 daughter and a friend arrived with plentiful amounts of meatitude and sweetitude, including the friend’s Grandma’s justly famous pecan pie, so we went ahead and moved into full-scale revelry.

Well, talking and eating and playing games, at least. I guess full-scale revelry would involve dancing and singing and carousing, none of which took place. #1 son did play his guitar, and we had Pandora on, but that’s still pretty low-key. We have lively conversation at our house, but carousing is rare.

Tonight is Christmas Eve, so the song for today has to be “The Twelve Days of Christmas.12 There is some information on the concept of the twelve days of Christmas here. The essential point is that they are beginning now, not ending. People who start celebrating early and are anxious for the whole thing to be over by December 26 are doing it wrong.

This song is a fun one, and it makes a good party game. You divide up the verses so that each person has one, and the game is for each person to sing his or her verse at the right moment. If you don’t like this game, your obvious solution is to choose “12 drummers drumming,” cause you only have to do that once. If you have extra people, put them all on “five golden rings” so they can sing harmony.

It has been named the 2008 Carol of the Year, and yet it is not popular with everyone. For one thing, it’s hard to remember the words. For another, it goes on for a long time, and many people nowadays can’t focus for six minutes at a time. It can be hard to fit all the words in, too. These flimsy excuses for not singing this song should be ignored.

12 I have some fancy cooking and baking to do today, and further revelry. #2 daughter is expected, with or without a friend. I’ve got a couple of church services to sing at, and Bigsax and The Organist are coming by in between services, and we’ll have Christmas crackers and stuff.

I have a few inches more to do on one of my Christmas knitting projects, so it may well be that it won’t be finished in time.

Oh, well.

Once I got into the whole not-working thing, I did pretty well. I checked out the survey at oDesk, and the majority of workers there aren’t taking any days off. In previous years, I’ve usually been at the store on Christmas Eve and also on Boxing Day. So taking three days off is a pretty big deal. I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.

I hope you do the same.