It seems that the month of December has snuck by me in a manner typically reserved for underlying messages from the fairer gender (e.g., "You are not funny. Never speak to me again."). I feel like I should blame this on something. I could lay it on the Grinch, but - as I understand it - he's having some sort of medical procedure completed to help resolve some health issues related to exponential enlargement of his heart. I'd go after Father Time, but his son - Hammer - seems a bit aggressive when it comes to contact with his family.
Jokes aside, a recent hospital stay for my mom did seem to accelerate the holiday season. An infection in an arm left on antibiotics for days and added a new event to plug into the Christmas letter. Thankfully, things cleared up and she made it home the day before we celebrated our family Christmas. In her life, she's jumped some incredible hurdles, including a car accident that left her in traction for two months, multiple bouts with cancer, and having to tote around my obese toddler form 27 years ago, so there was confidence that she'd leave this infection in her tracks, as well. But, as with any hospital stay, even the slightest hint of uncertainty can be terrifying. It's good to have her home... It's also good that the folks at the hospital have yet to set up an automatic withdrawal from my parents' bank account every month.
With Mom back at home, the holidays moved forward, all underlined by the unrelenting excitement of a three-year-old mind. From naming the nativity camels (Blueberry, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody, if you're curious) to refusing to watch any movies that did not involve a snow-adorned setting, my sister's daughter approached the holiday season like a kid waiting for Christmas. (Note to self: This is why you need to write more. Your simile-crafting has eroded to a tear-drawingly pathetic point.) Though just three, she became college-roommate-familiar with the phrase "Santa's watching," and left out cookies and milk for Mr. Kringle and food for the reindeer the night before their family celebration. She may still have some things to learn (at one point she told her Dad that he could not sleep outdoors because the reindeer would eat him), but - from patiently waiting for her next turn to open gifts to kindly thanking the gifter of each present - she seems to have a good grasp on the holiday. Alas, I did not receive any Legos from Santa, as she said I would. I suppose there's always next year.
With Santa now in the midst of his annual post-toy-delivery bender (so I assume), the holiday season will soon close with the arrival of the year 2012. I suppose this is notable, since some folks believe it's the last year that our world will exist. Whether the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride down our streets at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1 (which will be tricky, even with separate times zones across the country) or the whole Mayan calendar issue was just a mix-up since the folks making it were too lazy to go further than 2012, only time can tell.
Sorry, time AND Miss Cleo.*
*This Writing brought to you by The Foundation Determined to Make Miss Cleo Relevant Again. Call her now for vague predictions for your future that might seem kind of correct in the distant future!