I cannot even tell you how big a deal Christmas is to my family.

First, there's Thanksgiving, then there's extended family Thanksgiving the following Saturday. Then there are about a dozen Christmas pageants to go to, cookie baking, gift wrapping and meanwhile my husband, who is a musician, is working his tail off providing entertainment at other peoples' holiday gatherings. Then there's the extended family Christmas party that takes place the Saturday before Christmas for which we dutiful daughters must be available to assist in decorating and other preparations as well as preparing dishes at home to bring along on the big day. In fact, the only day that we generally have to ourselves in the month of December is Christmas day and by then it's too late to bother with the tree (it's alright, we already decorated one for the party).

No, I don't have time for Midwinter's day or Yule.

If I did, it would consist of decorating a Christmas tree, exchanging gifts and eating really good food. Oh wait, we do that at family Christmas. Done.

On Christmas day, however, we open up gifts from Santa, have a big breakfast, decorate trees outdoors for the birds with "ornaments" made of birdseed, drink hot cocoa and then go to whatever the big movie is at the theatre.

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