We're into the frenzied days of December. As a child, I only worried about killing time until Christmas, and that wasn't hard to do, although the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed an eternity. I'd come home from school -- the less planned hours of which generally included heavy loads of holiday crosswords or the perennial favorite, the old "see how many words you can make from 'Merry Christmas'" activity -- and it was time to lie under the artificial tree listening to Christmas music. On many days, my mother was baking something. There were always cookies.
Now, as an adult, there's simply no time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Time isn't measured in hours or days, but in weekends. Since the post-Thanksgiving weekend is a wash, we're left with three weekends, and every weekend has a party invitation if not an acceptance, the semester ending papers and exams demand attention, those of us foolhardy enough to attend the MLA are planning not only a Christmas trip, but also a post-Christmas pre-New Year's itinerary, and we're well aware that when we return there's another semester waiting for prep. Throw children into the mix, and you're looking at one-twelfth of the year completely, utterly, irrevocably gone.
Happy holidays, everyone.