– E.M. Forster
Especially if you have a preschooler fascinated by the endless de-hanging possibilities of tree ornaments, a kitten almost a cat, but with severe kitten-interests (involving shatterable tree ornaments), a dog who becomes nervous and insane when attention is lavished on the preschooler and not doggy and steals stuffed animals that are not his—and, now, tree ornaments (shatterable or otherwise), two older cats who hate: 1. Birth of the boy, 2. Adoption of doggy, 3. Kitten and express hate by defiling area rugs, pillows-in-cases, treeskirt and human skin when the peeves strike. Ohhhhh! I get it: Clumsier every year. Ah. Okay, then. Come on over. I have pear cider and I pretty much have the gingerbread-loaf-baking down, and probably the Christmas chili with chive flecked cornbread, and, hopefully, the Christmas cookies for the preschool party, perhaps a few carols on my sticky piano, but definitely the eggnog and definitely all Cheer. Not a newspaper in sight in this tiny pocket of suburbia—no TV (unless you count DVD’s)—radios, yes, we have radios for musical relief from carols in our annual Christmas CD collection, therefore we are subjected to snippets of clumsy commercialism, but look: In the house of sleepless parents and neurotic pets, we are pretty much clumsy with everything except Cheer, we are not clumsy with that, or Peace and Goodwill, we are not clumsy with our P&G supply, no, no—we have plenty, E.M. (just don’t walk by the tree barefoot, and please, we beg you, pet the dog).
PS. I know E.M. Forster is dead.