Stephanie Burgis
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In the bleak midwinter...
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Patrick and I have developed a routine over the past couple of months to make sure each of us gets at least enough sleep to survive and not melt down all over the baby. I go to bed REALLY early every night - preferably by 8:30pm - while he stays up as late as he can with Mr. Darcy. They finally fall into bed when Patrick can't take it any more, and then I feed Mr. Darcy off and on for the rest of the night, snatching sleep in between feeds, and get up as early as I can manage (usually around 7-7:30). It turns out there's a real advantage to getting up before Patrick this December: it's my time to try out lots & lots of Christmas music!!!

The thing is, I love Christmas music. Even the silliest Christmas songs make me smile (yeah, I do know many of the words to "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"); even the dorkiest arrangements give me a warm feeling.

Patrick does not share this feeling.

Every year I buy one Christmas album and I listen to it (as well as my older albums) without shame, day and night, throughout December, for all to hear. But the thing is, since I limit my Christmas album-buying to one a year, I feel compelled to only buy the genuinely good ones (or at least, the ones I enjoy the most). This year, courtesy of, I get to try out all the others, too...and since Patrick isn't awake for it, I can revel in some of the tackiest or most dated arrangements ever, without inflicting aural pain on my beloved husband. The search term I've used is "Christmas Album", and wow, does it come up with a lot of CDs! I've actually found some good ones - the album I bought this year was found on, and I've made notes on other ones to buy in future years (I liked the sample from Emmylou Harris's Christmas album a lot, actually)...but I just finished listening to one album that even I thought was just hilariously bad.

But of course I listened to the whole thing. Hey, it's Christmas! (And right now I'm listening to the Beach Boys' Christmas Album, which is just...well, you can listen for yourself, because it is just indescribable. I won't be buying it...and yet, somehow, I can't quite force myself to turn it off, either! I may be teetering over the edge, though...yeah, it's going off. Even I can't take more than 2 songs from this album!)

In other news this week, Patrick got our Christmas tree yesterday (hooray!!!), so we're planning to put it up and decorate it today, if only we can find space for it around all the new, baby-related furniture in our living room. And I'm well into the short story I'm writing as my brother Ben's Christmas present. He requested a vampire story, set in East Lansing (the town where we grew up), and with a twisty plot. I am having wayyy too much fun with this one...

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