Barbie World + [hhholidays]

Take Two: Tuesday.

Sometimes you hit publish and immediately think "that was a poor excuse for a post."

That happened this morning when I put up the last one, but I'm leaving it up anyway in all its whiny glory because that's how I was feeling last night when I wrote it. Burned out and bummed out, that sort of thing. Still, there's no need to let that Debbie Downer post linger at the top of my blog. I have Christmas cheer to spread, yinz!

Maybe it's the triumphant return of coffee this morning, or the relief of having a few more things checked off the to-do list, but the world looks different now. Better. The chilly mist and dark clouds hanging low over the city make life inside feel that much cozier, and they make the white lights outside shine brighter too.

There are Christmas wreaths and lights galore throughout our office building, and more candy than usual gleaming from little dishes perched on the end of cubicle walls. Santa greets you when you reach the top of the elevators.

The creche outside our building -- the only Vatican stamp-of-approval sealed one in the United States, in fact -- is absolutely, stunningly gorgeous.

Though it looks like baby Jesus has arrived early this year...
There is something magical about Christmas in the city. It's grand and dignified and fancy. It's pressed and perfectly tied and beautifully lit. It makes you stop and stare in wonder.

But really, in the end there's no place like home for the holidays.

I'm trying something fun and exciting next week, and I want to invite any readers with their own blogs to join in as well. A few blogger friends and I will be doing a "holiday blog hop" -- clever title TBD, we're working on it. We'll photograph our houses in all their decked-out glory and write about our holiday traditions, then link up to each other's blogs at the bottom so our readers get a very hearty helping of festivity.

It's like a holiday blogger block party!

Any sort of blog can participate. You can wax poetic on your blog about cooking, crafting, babies, music, fishing, or Bette Davis (you know who you are) every other day of the year -- but for this one post, you will just share your Christmas photos and traditions. No pressure on decorating and photography -- this is to share holiday cheer, not win a spread in House Beautiful.

The fun takes place (the posts get published) on December 14. Let me know if you and your blog would like to join in.

When we recall Christmases past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness. Bob Hope