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I am slowly slipping into my Annual Blue Funk. It happens every year in early December. As soon as those endless strings of carols start bellowing out of every speaker in every store, I start my daily moans to the cats — which are probably just as annoying to them as those carols are to me — “Oh Woe is Me, The Holidays Are Coming.” They totally ignore me (as usual)  and just tuck themselves a little deeper into the afghans resuming their dreams of extra Temptations in their stockings. Recently, I heard or dreamt or read a quote from some unknown person that all they wanted was to go to bed now and wake up on January 7 so they could miss it all. They obviously did not have demanding felines who would make that time in bed as miserable as putting up with the holidays.

Now, don’t start Bah-Humbugging me. I have my traditions. Every December 1, I put my two-little-Ikea-battery-operated candles in my bedroom windows and throw a string of lights around the window in the corner downstairs and another over the screen in my bedroom. That’s something festive, eh? I call it the “Dispelling of the Darkness” to help me wait for the Solstice and those extra two minutes of light every day.  The lights do put me in a little more festive mood and, honestly, to me, are the best part of the whole season. I just love them. Now mind you, they have to be tastefully done. Too much, even in lights, is just that. But, a little bit goes a long way like the house up the street that completely covers a little, tiny tree with them. Every time I see it, it gives me a whisper of joy.

Part of my annual blahs is that my birthday falls on the 24th of December. Believe me, that is not as cool as it sounds. Ask anyone who shares the date or, worse yet, the 25th. Any celebration for you just gets mixed in with all that other stuff. As a kid, I always wanted pink balloons and a strawberry cake, not a present wrapped in Christmas paper. I didn’t think that was too much to ask for. If I complained which, knowing me, I probably did, I was told I should be thankful that I got a present at all and, really, Annie, there’s a lot to do on Christmas Eve. This year the birthday looms even larger since it is my big 7-0. Seventy! How did I get to be seventy? It is a little surprising to me. I’ve taken to telling people so I can practice convincing myself that it is true. I always give myself a gift for my birthday. The difference is that for this 70th I gave myself a new mattress for my aging body and had my will done. I think I better go out and buy a sequinned top to wear on the day just to balance out the former gifts and bring a little zing into this birthday.

Well, the thing about this seasonal blue funk is that I know as this month moves on and that music becomes even more persistent, that my crusty blahs will soften a little. My resolution absolutely, positively not to get a tree this year will crumble and Len and I will go over to the lot and I’ll say the same words I have said every year to the same guy, “I want one as tall as me.” Then I’ll find someone to decorate it, since, no matter what my mood, I hate to decorate a tree. And Clara will come over and we’ll bake cookies again and I’ll start recording all the different versions of Scrooge and cry along with George Bailey. And, before Bob Crachit can dot another “i”, I’ll be humming along to those tunes. Fa-La-La-La-La!