The following was written and scheduled to go live Christmas Day, but a technical glitch prevented that. I still wanted to share this with you:Losing a week in December to the much-needed vacation meant some changes to the holiday routine. Moving a piece of the wall unit to the Living Room also necessitated some modifications to the traditions. As a result, this Christmas season has felt just a tad disjointed.We decided to move the Christmas tree to the Dining Room, sticking it in the corner where the dogs’ bed currently resides. That got moved out of the way but still in the room, making things a tad cozier. It also led to buying a somewhat smaller tree which meant a reduction in the number of ornaments, despite the growth in the collection.Losing a week forced us to buy, wrap, and ship the gifts early, which is always my personal goal. We had the packages in the mail by the 7th with the last of the cards in the mail a day or so later.The lost week did mean less time for baking and our cookie production, usually prodigious and tasty, didn’t begin until Wednesday. Kate and Deb began a few batches before switching to pie and muffin production and then swung back to a few more cookies. Thankfully, our sister-in-law Jennifer likes to bake (but doesn’t want too many cookies in her house) so today she brings us her bounty.Having Kate around was wonderful this week, but still, especially when it came to decorating the tree or hearing certain holiday songs, Robbie’s absence is as strong as ever. On our way home from Long Island on Monday, we stopped by to visit his grave but the entire field was still covered in deep snow so even the plant we left before the vacation, was hidden.We’re adjusting, but this was always such a special time of year for him that we can’t do things without stopping and wiping away a tear. Normally, Christmas Eve was always an outing to the movies to keep him occupied before the vigil mass. Instead, the three of us ate pasta and watched Christmas TV specials. Today, we didn’t open gifts until after Deb and Kate sang at the 10 a.m. mass. His empty stocking continues to hang with ours and his absence keenly felt.A warm, Merry Christmas to one and all.