Yes, Kat, Christmas really is almost here. But, I don’t think the lack of gaudy lights and blowup figures in Oregon are the reason that Christmas has snuck up on you. We have plenty of really cheesy displays here, and more than our share of blow up Santas. The latest craze is the blowup snowglobe thingy. The first time I saw one I thought it was pretty cool. The seventy first time I saw one I wanted an air rifle so I could start popping the damn things.

Picture Christmas lights on FEMA blue roofs. Tacky R Us.

So, anyway, Christmas is right around the corner and I’m only barely getting geared up for it. Actually this year is a somewhat miraculous year in that Jack and I were both actually able to give each other solid gift ideas.

(Ideas nothing. We told each other exactly what we wanted. Heck, we even shopped online together.)

Tonight I’m going to a Christmas party in New Orleans thrown by the writer’s group that I’m hoping to join. It was started by George Alec Effinger and it has a pretty impressive alumni list, so I’m really hoping it’s a good fit. Fortunately, Anna is over her cold to the point that I can stick her with a babysitter.

I’m oddly, ridiculously nervous about this party. I will know no one there. Oh, I know I’ll be fine, but this is the remnant of my adolescent shyness rearing its head.