I feel like every year I set out my plans for the journey from Thanksgiving to Christmas like a fellow planning to go downriver in a small boat. I know what stops I need to make, and anticipate a nice, easy ride.
Some of the ports of call along the way are:
- The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8 -- a day of obligation, you know)
- Outdoor lights
- Cookie baking
- Decorating indoors
- Confession (not a requirement as it is at Lent as part of Easter duty, but a good idea nonetheless)
- Charitable contributions (cash, food kitchen donations, all that stuff)
- Christmas cards (you'll get one eventually, Aunt Ethel)
- Shopping, shopping, shopping
- Arrangements for presents for editing clients
- Packages of presents for loved ones far away
- Dinner plans for the Big Day
- Wrapping presents
As you can see, there's a lot of stops on this river, actually more than I've listed. And the current runs faster the farther you go. At this point in the month of December, I've lost control of the little boat, which is dangerously overloaded and impossible to steer; it's being spun around in eddies and squeezed through rapids, and I keep thinking the whole thing is about to capsize or shatter. Even if I do make it to port at last, I'll likely be slammed into the pier and sunk in the harbor.
And yet, at the end, the delta appears, the river broadens and calms, and I ease into the port gently and gratefully.
Then I'm sad because the journey is over. I guess getting there is at least half the fun.