1.  You know how we had an election week? Or weeks, depending on your perspective? Well, we’ve got that going on here for Christmas prep.

2.  Christmas decorations are usually a one day blitz. Hours of back breaking labor and voila! ‘Tis the season.

3.  Not this year though. This year the quest for kitten proof decorating is more like a slow drip.

4.  Step one: Layer red ornaments in hurricane glass. Set on dining room table.

5.  Step two: Still there? Add another set in the trifle dish and stand watch the rest of the day.

6.  Step three: Put up the bare tree for a two day experiment.

7.  Step four: Watch Seven clamber up the center then surf outer branches to the floor.

8.  Step five: Tree still standing? Excellent. Moving on.

9.  This is where things get hypothetical because, well, bare tree is how far we got this week.

10.  Next is lights. String them on tree then wait twenty-four hours.

11.  Is Seven chewing, tugging, or getting tangled? Nix the lights and embrace extreme minimalism for 2020.

12.  Has he decided to leave the lights alone? Hallelujah, it’s a Christmas miracle!

13.  Next would be an extremely limited ornament selection.

14.  Is it breakable? Not going up this year.

15.  Is it irreplaceable? Not going up this year.

16.  Is it fragile in any way, shape, or form? Definitely not going up this year.

17.  So if the tree keeps standing and if the kitten leaves those lights alone then we’ll get to hang the sturdiest, least precious ornaments we can find and hope the lure of dangly things doesn’t make this one big catnip toy.

18.  In many ways the promise of a tree sparsely decorated with our least meaningful trinkets is a perfect metaphor for 2020.

19.  Deck the halls and all that jazz.

20.  While running the tree experiment I’ve started unpacking and evaluating everything else.

21.  Delicate things are placed high out of reach or back onto sturdy shelves.

22.  Extra delicate things are taking the year off. 2020, man. What can I say.

23.  But you know what isn’t taking the year off? Outdoor wreaths, baby. Talk about cat proof.

24.  So other than glacially slow holiday decorating what else has this week brought?

25.  I found these Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders that everyone loved. Quick, tasty, and a perfect protein to bridge meal plans.

26.  I threw those on a plate with leftover green beans and roasted potatoes – everybody’s happy and I cleared out my fridge. Double win.

27.  Side tree note: Mia hasn’t climbed up there at all.

28.  Either she’s a) not interested anymore or b) decided if that crazy ass boy cat knocks the tree over she’s not getting in trouble too.

29.  Or maybe Mia’s waiting for it to get blinged out, who knows.

30.  I also got my teeth cleaned this week.

31.  Anyone else tear up while the dental hygienist uses that pointy scrape thing? Flinch? Reflexively close your mouth?

32.  Nothing says oh no, I’m fine like that single tear slipping from the corner of my eye.

33.  And can I just say how completely ridiculous I feel crying at the freaking dentist over a damn CLEANING?

34.  I am woman, hear me roar.

35.  Or whimper. Depending.

36.  This week I’ve noticed exactly how much my phone skills have deteriorated.

37.  I’ve never really been into phone calls: not enough visual cues + too much opportunity for distraction = disastrous results. If I’m not losing my train of thought then I’m missing someone’s point entirely.

38.  But this week I realized my basic skills are gone. The natural rhythm of a call, how to gracefully get off, that sort of thing. It’s resulted in some bizarre okay, BYE! moments.

39.  My social skills are slipping. Not that they were fabulous to begin with but y’know, I appreciated what I had. Now here we are, covid constrained, and it’s all I can do to call in a takeout order.

40.  When we come out the other side of this there’s gonna be a whole segment of society who never really force themselves back into those social molds. I know I’ve got a few things I won’t mind skipping for good.