Are you counting down the days, the hours, the minutes until Christmas?
Do you have the food menu for all those hungry guests that will invade your house during the upcoming holidays finalized?
Is your holiday decorating and shopping done?
If you are organized and ready, kudos to you.
Used to be, I would be done with all my Christmas "to do list" in October, with only the tree left to be decorated.
But, over the last few years, I've been slowly creeping toward being one of those glassy-eyed Christmas Eve shoppers, grabbing for gift selections in a 24-hour service station who wonders if anyone will notice the wrapping paper is left-over newspapers or aluminum foil.
On Dec. 23, 2006, after waiting 45 minutes to turn out of the mall parking lot, I vowed I wouldn't do last-minute shopping again. Right then and there, sitting in my car trying not to curse at the erratic driving skills of several people around me, I set a goal for this year that I'd be done by Dec. 1.
Well, as much as I hate to admit it, that didn't quite happen.
Food is not a problem this year because the celebration is not at my house. We're going to my sister's for the holiday, so I only have to make some kind of soup and a dessert.
Sounds easy, but I still don't know what I'm taking!
It's comforting to know that if I throw something in a crock-pot, they will eat it.
Decorating the house for the holiday was sort of done on time.
There was a holiday wreath and a red ribbon on the front door before Dec. 1, but my kids and I weren't able to decorate our monster Christmas tree until last weekend. As usual, we tested the lights before placing them on the tree, but one strand decided to start blinking and another has since quit working.
"Kind of sums up this year, doesn't it?" my daughter said, while looking at the tree the other night.
Normally, I would tear it apart and do it all over again to make it perfect, but she's right. It has just been that kind of a year.
So, we left the tree alone, with its top lights blinking away, the middles ones not on at all and the bottom steadily glowing.
My holiday shopping is nowhere near done.
Although I hate how impersonal they are, I'm considering buying gift cards this year. At least that way, my family will be able to get what they want, when they want it.
As for myself, I've never been a person who likes to receive packages and gifts.
They are all right, but for me, they are only possessions. I prefer gifts that can't be wrapped with paper and tied with a bow.
I'm looking forward to that Christmas moment, shortly after midnight, when it becomes Dec. 26. When the house is silent and everyone is happily asleep, I'm looking forward to curling up in a chair with a warm blanket and a frothy cup of hot chocolate to watch a little television.
There's no better way to end the holiday season than drifting off to sleep with the wonderful music and images of my favorite Christmas movie, "Holiday Inn."