The tree is up. Basically. Its skirt is tangled around the base because every time I straighten it one of the cats decides they’re ready to rumble. The angel-less top is flattened courtesy of Seven’s perch and survey his domain style and the branches look kinda beat up. My sturdy ornament selection withstood the onslaught, though, and the kitties have managed to nibble away only a couple of the branch tips so we’re calling it a win.

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree…thank you for not abandoning all hope and crashing through our coffee table during this holiday season.

We’ve pretty much devoured the cookies my sister brought so if we’re leaving any out for Santa I guess we’d better get baking today.

The creatures are divided. Teens are sleeping late and napping often while fur babies rotate between raucous play sessions and snoozy snuggles. Gracie spends her day fulfilling her golden’s duty to retrieve – an envelope on the table, the cookies cooling on a pan, post-it notes and pencils and chip clips galore. If Santa went hardcore she’d never get anything but coal in her stocking.

Speaking of stockings ours aren’t hung by the chimney with care because the last time I tried that Gracie pulled one down, bringing its heavy iron holder crashing to the floor and leaving a nice gouge to remember her by. ‘Tis the season and all that jazz. The stockings are laid out on the console downstairs waiting for bedtime when they’ll be filled and placed on the coffee table. The trick is to beat the dogs to them in the morning. There’s nothing like starting off Christmas day with a furry footrace, I always say.

It’s not lost on me that we’re in the final throes of 2020 here and true to form Trump’s honoring the Christmas season with more of the usual nonsense. That’s okay. We can do hard things. Like celebrate a holiday season in the midst of a pandemic while vaccination rollouts begin, relief packages are still in flux, and healthcare workers beg us to stay home and be safe. We’re almost to the new year, you guys. We are crawling toward the finish line AND WE CAN MAKE IT. I’m certain of it.

And to my friends who actually managed to get a Christmas card made and mailed in the midst of this madness? I’m in awe of your we-can-do-hard-things spirit, people, I truly am.

For those who celebrate, I hope your Christmas is magical. For those who don’t, blessings on your and yours as we finish out 2020 and head into the new year. I think we’re all hoping to hit the reboot button on this one.