Fa La La La–(yawn)–Where Was I?

David took the day off, and was taking advantage of this gorgeous trick-you-into-thinking-it’s-May air to hang Christmas lights along the roofline of our house.  Because nothing says “Oh Holy Night” like 67-degree temperatures and, well, November.  But last year he did the same task on a 34-degree day, braced on a ladder against stiff winds while I peered through the window with one hand covering my eyes and the other on the phone ready to speed-dial 911, so I think he’s a lot happier in shorts and a t-shirt.  Oh, and no wind.  No wind is good, both for his bone structure and our wallet.  Those emergency room co-pays add up, you know.

And yes, he’s the one to do the outside decorations every year while I stay inside.  No, I’m not as ashamed as you might think.  It’s cold out there.  He’s ON A LADDER.  Are you kidding me?

The children spent the morning nestled on the family room rug, reading books to each other and watching Cars  so that I could take advantage of all the Cyber Monday sales, which basically consisted of the small shame of having my credit card number memorized (yes, it’s all paid off right away, so don’t give me that look) and swearing loudly within the soundproofed walls of my brain when the website I was on kept crashing as I tried to check out (dag you, Eddie Bauer and your cozy-yet-masculine sweaters!).

I went for a run, after many, many days (all right, weeks.  I can’t lie to you) of enjoyable, deliberate non-running.  It hurt.  But it felt good.  You fellow exercisers know what I mean.  Well, not my back.  The back hurts.  I think the whole 70-pound-weight-gain-and-strenuous-labor thing the first time around with Saoirse did that sucker in.  Yes, 70.  What?  I craved brownies.  It went away.  Don’t judge.

I’m about to leave the house, young children in tow, to frantically finish up most of my shopping (except you, Paul, and Mark Patrick–anytime you guys want to give me an idea of what you’d like, that’d be nice), because I’m tired of talking about gifts and Santa and buyingbuyingbugying in front of Saoirse, and would like to get to the part where we emphasize the spirit of the season and all of that.

And by emphasizing the spirit, I mean start baking cookies, of course.  No?

Just kidding, sort of.  I do enjoy the cookies part, but…While at our local amusement park’s Christmas “Candylane” this weekend, we stopped the girls in front of a nativity scene (the ancient one tucked into a forgotten corner of the village of shops, right between a candy store and a shop selling miniature Santas) to help us explain that Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus’s birthday.  We pointed out Mary, his mother, and Joseph, his “father on earth,” whereupon SK looked at us like we’ve got cracks in our heads.  We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in the next four weeks.

To my Christian friends, happy advent.  To my non-Christian friends, happy expectations.  To all of you, happy shopping, happy baking, happy singing, and decorating, and church-ing and cocktail-ing and wrapping, and explaining to your children exactly what all this fuss and commotion means for your family, anyway.

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