Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It's a Thursday on a sugar high, sparkling with promise. It's my rehearsal dinner, which I liked more than my wedding. It's a pile of brightly wrapped from the carnage of Christmas itself.

Christmas Eve was EVEN BETTER than usual this year. Lucy was positively high on anticipation. Helping her prepare on Christmas Eve was like helping her get ready for a date with Santa himself. She did what any proper girl does before a date: she baked (chocolate chip, Santa's favorite, duh); she groomed (a bath, several rounds of teeth-brushing); she adorned (curled hair, clip-on rhinestone chandelier earrings, giant David Yurman-style necklace); she waited. She was so tired from all her preparations that she fell asleep after about six thumb-sucks. The sight of her limp in her bed, with a little curling-ironed ringlet on her cheek, made me want to tuck myself in beside her and declare Christmas over right then. But it's hard work being Santa, and I could not imagine explaining how "mom has a melancholic reaction to anticlimax, so we're just doing Christmas Eve, okay?" So we went through with the whole thing. I'd describe it here, but it's better saved for a later entry. Christmas Eve is sacred, after all.