I’m not going to lie to you. The Christmas tree is dead. It’s still standing, and it still smells faintly evergreen, and it will make it through Christmas without dropping all its needles. Nonetheless, it’s less green than it was last week and it’s prickly.

STILL. As of this minute, it’s Christmas vacation time for me. Today, I experienced an adulting alchemy that is a wonderful thing when it happens. All the tangled, dropped and hidden threads of holiday preparation and life organization suddenly unknotted and came together smoothly and completely, and voila! The List Was Done. I’ll be shipping any orders that come in through tomorrow, but after that I’m not shipping again until January. Portland Public Schools are closed until January 6, so I won’t need to be checking for sub listings every morning at 5 for the next two weeks. I’m looking forward to a couple of days of baking and finishing gifts for friends and family in town – at a nice, leisurely, festive pace. There will also be reading – lots and lots of reading (Aimee Bender and Neil Gaiman both had new books out this year, and I have yet to read either one) – and playing games, and catching up with family and friends by phone and Skype. Oh, and sleeping. And going to the gym, but not at 5 a.m. because there’s just no need for that nonsense.

I may even put some dedicated concentration into this project and write something. This is going to be good.

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