It’s all about the anticipation. It gets you every time. You eagerly await a movie, a special occasion, or milestone and you get excited. It’s a terrific feeling and then the actual event arrives and you enjoy it, but before you know it, the time has passed.Less so Christmas. After all, there are twelve days of Christmas and during that period we also welcome in the New Year. As a result, for about a week to ten days we’re filled with a series of events staring with the Eves and then the actual days. In between we’re distracted by the daily minutia that can’t wait. In the case of freelance writers, it also means time not working is time not spent earning money (this season I’ve learned that I can throw my own office party any time I want but no one will hand out Christmas bonuses and only one client sent a gift).Christmas Eve is normally the time when the kids open presents from the out-of-town relatives, but this year it took about five minutes since most of it came as cash or checks. Still, we received our gifts from the kids. Robbie gave me the soundtrack to Black Hawk Down, something I’ve been wanting ever since Dave Mack highly recommended it for writing mood music (now I have to see the film). Kate gave me a baseball shirt with the Abbott & Costello logo on the front and the name “Who” and the number one on the back. Very cool.Kate cantored at Midnight Mass and Robbie and I wound up sitting with her friends Kelly and Dini then our pew was filled with the Vahey family, whose kids Robbie babysits for and Cristin and I serve on the RTM together. She was in fine voice and filled the church wonderfully.After crashing, Deb and I got up long before the kids. As a result, seeing what Santa put under the tree would have to wait. She went to sing at the 10 a.m. mass while Robbie and I watched Miracle on 34th Street as I chopped veggies. We scurried about getting the house ready for company. Finally, Deb returned home and we could open the gifts.Santa brought me the new Paul Simon CD, Surprise, the DVD box set celebrating the Mets’ amazing 1986 post-season., two needed shirts, some socks, and two books. I was quite pleased. Now, given the above, I should note that Kate’s gift to me had a connection to our gift to son. He received the same shirt, only with number three and “I Don’t Know” on the back. Should be fun at games.The kids and Deb were all quite happy with their gifts so it was a jolly morning.We then popped the turkey in the oven and set about to cook, clean, set-up and relax. Deb’s brothers Jeff and Jim came over, the latter brining his fiancée Jennifer and his boys, Zach and Nick. The nine of us goofed, noshed, chatted, exchanged even more gifts and enjoyed the day. Our feast was most filling and well crafted. Dessert was even better.Once we were cleaned up, it was time to just chill. We did so watching the first four episodes of The Muppet Show season one, a gift Kate got from St. Nick. Its charm and humor endures although several cultural references and even guests needed cultural context for the kids.Now it’s Boxing Day, the day to avoid the stores at all costs and get some work done. I have e-mails to return, a conference call at Noon and time to polish Hellboy II before it is due.Was it a good day for you?