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Merry Christmas, dear readers! This will be our last blog until the 30th of December. We’re hunkering down, amidst the cold, cold temperatures, trying to stay warm with the pets and all four of us humans jockeying for kitchen space. But, as we’ve often found, everything goes down a little smoother with an ample supply of boozy delights.

L’il Sis and I started the season appropriately a couple of weeks ago by trimming the tree to the happy strains of ‘A Kenny and Dolly Christmas’ blasting forth, accompanied by shots of Bailey’s for me and an Italian liquor (multifunctional since it can be used as lighter fluid too) called Super Punch for L’il Sis.

This year, I was officially NOT allowed to decorate the tree to match the room decor. Instead, L’il Sis brought up all the ornaments from childhood — some made, some purchased, all gaudy, many falling apart, some crumbling. It’s all right, though, since I sent Martha Stewart an email warning her not to inspect our decorations this year. She doesn’t need to see what a sacrilege to all that’s beautiful and tasteful we have managed to inflict on the world. I know Martha spent a year in jail, but she’s still too delicate for this. Heck, I’m too delicate for it and I have to live with it. More booze, please!

In the true spirit of the season, we are thankful for the many miracles that have been visited upon us this year: the first miracle is that I didn’t burn down the house when I tried to put up outdoor lights by myself. The kids made me promise not to stand on a teetering kitchen chair to put lights in the tall trees, so I did as I was told and just decorated the low-lying bushes. Being the disorganized person that I am, I dragged the entire tangled mess of lights, extra extension cords dangling underfoot trying to maim me on the stairs, to the front porch and dropped everything in a heap.

The untangling took  at least an hour, the requisite swearing another half hour, the actual placing of the lights and finding the appropriate ends to plug in, another half hour. I flipped the switch and PRESTO! Nothing. Or more accurately, part of nothing. Some worked; some didn’t. I had neglected to test the lights to see if they worked before I strung them. Why would I? That would be something a sane, rational, organized, knowledgeable person would do. I assumed that, stashed as they were in a mangled heap, nothing would have changed since last year. Of course all the bulbs were fine. Of course nothing had come loose or shorted out. So, with more swearing, I dragged a few strings inside and began testing them. The first (and only one) I tested caused many sparks, a sharp popping sound and proved to me that my fear reflexes were alive and well. I jumped back and made an executive decision that the paltry selection of festive lights still on the bushes was it. No more testing. Into the garbage went the mess at my feet. And no, Mr. Garbage Man, I didn’t dispose of them properly. Better they should blow up the landfill site than my house. I just want the suckers gone. So much for the Christmas spirit. And I defy anyone to comment on the paucity of my light display this year.

The second miracle was that L’il Sis’s duvet didn’t fracture into pieces. Yes, you heard correctly. She put it on the outside railing to ‘drip dry’ when the washer malfunctioned. “I remembered how nice the laundry is when it smells of fresh air,” she commented.

“Yes, but…” I began (not adding: you foolish child, not in the dead of winter!). Hours later (we had forgotten it in the boozy frenzy of putting up the tree) it was frozen stiff, and bent like a boomerang. We managed to pry it off the railing and bring it inside where it melted in the front hall. Fortunately, the lovely carpet it was lying on absorbed most of the water and didn’t leave a massive puddle for us to slip on. (No matter that the carpet sloshes just ever so slightly.)That’s all right, though, since the aging Coonhound made up for it the next day when his overtaxed bladder let go. We really should wear duck shoes all the time.

The third miracle is that we weren’t arrested for defaming Christmas and causing a disturbance with our Kenny and Dolly music blaring.

And The Pig was convinced that the Christmas Fairy had brought her gift early in the form of the pungent smell of gorilla farts from Crazy D’s suitcase full of dirty clothes straight from the African jungles. She sniffed, standing on top of the bags to get a better vantage point. If a dog can be in ecstasy, she was.

And so, our holiday season is in full swing. We look forward to writing more for the 30th. In the meantime, we rest, collect material, and do stupid things abut which to write. Merry Christmas!