It’s the second week in December.  I just finished a joint Ali/Joanna novella called Random Acts; I’m doing copy editing on next spring’s Ali book, Clawback; I have a short story, jointly written with Eric Van Lustbader that needs to be completed; bookmark requests need to be sent; as well as Christmas cards.  In other words, it’s busy around here—very busy.

But Christmas is coming into focus at our house.  Our very talented decorator, Jim Hunt, has been here working, not quite round-the-clock but close.  With the help of his very industrious elf, Robin, the house is gradually taking on its holiday trappings.  It’s a slow but steady process that moves from room to room.  

Over the years we’ve amassed a collection of decorations that resembles a Christmas supply warehouse.  Each year Jim comes, adds a few items, sends a few items hence, and does his thing in a unique way that eventually brings order from chaos.  The process takes time—close to two weeks—but it’s also a miraculous undertaking that resembles unwrapping the whole house.  

When the decorations come out each year, there are, inevitably, a few losses. We’re down to nine of the original twelve ornaments in The Twelve Days of Christmas set.  In the creche by the front door, St. Joseph’s head—which Bill glued back in place five years ago—is still hanging in, but the Angel’s horn disappeared this year.  It may have rolled under a piece of furniture.  Good luck getting that back!

I’ve learned that if a favorite decoration doesn’t make the cut one year, keep the faith.  It’ll be back next year—or even the year after that.

Right now I’m upstairs working and staying out of the way.  Christmas music is playing softly in the background.  

And so, if you happen to have time to read a blog during these very busy December days, thank you.  And once the house is dressed, I’ll send some photos.

In the meantime, be safe as you venture though these cold, dark, and—in Seattle—very rainy days. And even if your heart happens to be broken right now?  Try to find one small piece of joy in the season, because joy is a very effective remedy for broken hearts.

It’s not the ONLY remedy by any means, but it’s one that works.