When the kids get married and move away, you do what you can to celebrate the holidays together. If that means combining and cramming all your Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions into one weekend, you do it. If that means softening your hard lines on the order and timing of those traditions, you do it. If it means listening to the Chipmunks Christmas album at full volume two mornings in a row – back to back – instead of relaxing with a month in between, you do it. If it means setting up and decorating the tree and pretending it’s Christmas Eve the day after Thanksgiving, you do it. If it means waking up today and feeling like it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, so be it.

Valerie and David made the trip in from Tulsa and Carley and Collin came in from Nashville for a wonderfully truncated holiday season here in Midland. Thursday: turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie, a disappointing Cowboys win, ping-pong and pool and 99, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Friday: pancakes for breakfast, decorating the tree and the house, going out to eat, popcorn and egg nog and Dr Pepper while watching Scrooge, Christmas PJs, the Stanglin family dance and the clicking of the heels (sorry, Collin; I know Carley didn’t tell you about that), and the official reading of ‘Twas  the Night Before Christmas. Saturday: Carrie-Anne’s cinnamon rolls, followed by stockings and presents (put it on!) and the house empty by the time Michigan turned out the lights on Ohio State.


Carrie-Anne called it Thanksmas. I’m calling it good.