The Smart Aleck Press is publishing this edition of  late due to unforeseen circumstances: The Christmas holiday. There are those of you who would argue that because of the annual nature of the event, we might have seen this coming. Instead, we’ve experienced whiplash when our collective heads turned around and noticed, “OMG, is it here already?!?”

Not only was the holiday here, it’s gone. Not unlike a hit and run. First you’re cruising along, shopping for yet one more perfect “thing”, then the day arrives and panic sets in. There’s no time to give in to such a childish response because everyone descends from out of state, out of town, out of nowhere. They mean to enjoy the holiday and here you are with the goods to make it happen.

Women everywhere who host these holiday get-togethers know what I’m talking about. Did this relative get one of those things that you so diligently shopped for? Did everyone’s plate have the right amount of the foods so carefully prepared from some celebrity chef’s cookbook? Is it cold? Is it hot? Are there drinks? Where do you store your ice? Did you put out the snacks and who the hell forgot the sour cream? You have a scathingly brilliant idea. Let’s call trimming the tree a family bonding experience. There, now you can cross that off your to-do list. The music that runs through my head during most holiday seasons is a line from Chuck Berry’s song, “Run, run, Rudolph.” Sometimes is does feel like a marathon.

But now, it’s done. We can sit back on our laurels and survey our handy work. I didn’t buy laurels this year, so I am sitting in a recliner. As I do so, the smile slowly spreads, taking in that everything is complete. Even if it isn’t, there is no more left that I’m willing to do. Everyone has been fed, gifted and wished happy holidays with love, lightness and Chapstick on my oven-dried lips.  The house is clean. Dishes washed. This is the real meaning of peace  in the land. Next week we can go back to regular television.

In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and breathe. Oh, and eat leftovers.