All Hail Festivus

This might be the best Christmas since I was 7 years old. Not because I'm drinking enough spiked nog to once again believe in Santa, but maybe because this year we decided -- with full family support and agreement -- to not buy any gifts. Food items are allowed, but no "stuff."

Without the stress of shopping for umpteen people and worrying about the ginormous cost of that, it's felt more like Christmas this year than in the past 20 (or 30, if we're being truthful about age).

And this relaxed, festive feeling comes without taking time off work. You can't miss the energy of the season when you're downtown around the decorations, shoppers & tourists. Ice skating at lunch helps, too, as does driving around town to see the decorated homes.

Even though it comes up faster every year, we've been able to slow down and truly enjoy it before it's gone in the blink of an eye. Time for some more nog.