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Sunday, December 10, 2000

All the Christmas shopping I've done this weekend has been online. I can't take the press of holiday crowds for long enough to do much real shopping in the stores. That's why I steal away during the work day, when people whose jobs aren't as flexible as mine are tied up elsewhere. I'd like to get as much done as possible this week, to keep from having to face the last-minute rush. But that would mean the ideas would have to come a little more freely than they have so far.

I did go into one store to look at ornaments. Suzanne has some extra ones, and even some lights, that she's offered for my use. If I do get a tree, it'll look awfully bare with what little I've accumulated so far. This store had boxes of balls, gold, red and green, but nothing that seemed special. They also had individual ornaments, cloth angels and carved reindeer, that kind of thing. I wasn't inspired.

Probably I should wait until I have a tree before I start spending money on things to hang on it. Or maybe I should just get some construction paper, glitter and glue and make my own. I can use an old sheet to go under it, and find something to stick on top, and make popcorn balls and drink eggnog and light candles, and who needs tinsel?

There's enough stress involved with my job this week. I don't intend to be obsessive about decorating for the holidays, when only three or four people will ever see the results of my efforts. But I do want to do something. It'll be my first real tree, and my first Christmas in this house, which has so many possibilities (if I only had the designer's eye so that I'd know how to use this space).

Before the end of this week I have to prepare for an audit, and I'm also starting to get ready for the end of the year. The accountant has given us target amounts for total debt and total cash in the bank. There's no one but me to try to meet these goals, but I have to depend on people's word when they say the check's in the mail. That alone can aggravate my ulcer.

One check I've been expecting is already a week late. If it doesn't get here in the next two days, I'll have to find a way to borrow money to meet obligations. It's almost too many plates to try to keep spinning, and when they start falling there's all that messy cleanup to look forward to.

But the holiday spirit is a fleeting thing, and I won't let it get away from me. As much as I don't like crowds and shopping, I love finding the right present for someone. I have cards almost ready to mail, and a tree to trim. Well, I don't have a tree yet, but I will. Probably.

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Nicole, Insomniaville, December 9, A Christmas Party Goes to the Dogs

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Must be Nigel with the brie.