Almost the end of the year but not the end of this year’s novel. Yes, I reached the 50K mark by end of November but that isn’t the end of the story. Nope. Still at least three chapters to go before I can type “The End”. To make matters worse I decided it wasn’t working in first person so this morning I started converting it to third – which is like having nearly finished knitting a ski sweater when you decide you should have used another pattern entirely. Sure, I’m going to use the same yarn but I have to unravel the whole dang thing and start over. Ugggggh!

To make matters worse, here comes “the holidays”. Over the years I have made peace with the fact that I am not a sender of greeting cards or Christmas letters (I leave that to Mom who enjoys it). Our house is too small for a tree so I string lights on the house plants (see above), getting me to some extent off of the decorating juggernaught – plus I’m gluten intolerant which exempts me from the seasonal pressure to bake cookies and fruitcake. Since I’m retired and therefore poorer than Bob Cratchet’s pantry, shopping is a thing of Christmas past. And as a retired plant lady I wouldn’t let a poinsettia in my door if it came with a diamond necklace and a date with Brad Pitt. All in all I pretty much have a hall pass to skip the whole deck-the-halls rigamarole.

That being said, every time I turn on the tv this time of year I feel keenly how far I fall short of expectations. I try to spread cheer as best I can in my own way – stuff the red kettle with a fist full of ones, roast some meat, pour the Yellowtail, light candles and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with loved ones at least three times before New Years. It doesn’t measure up to the make-the-season-bright standard of excellence. It’s too little and pathetic and colorless and doesn’t have enough LED lights to qualify me for holiday hostess of 2009. So I’ll end this year knowing that I failed miserably yet again but vowing to do better next year. And since I hear the world will end in 2012 I have a few more tries to get it right. May you do better than I did – or have fun trying! Happy Holidays!

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