If I could get everything done on my day off that I want to get done on my day off I would clean my house and decorate from the random bins and then tidy the bins away and set up my wrapping station and sort the Amazon and Eddie Bauer boxes that have been delivered in recent weeks and use tissue paper to cozy each item into a box and organize the hats and scarves and glove bins and finish moving my half empty under construction pantry contents into my pantry and do all the dishes and find Christmas cards and write them with hot cider by my side. I would unpack from my recent trip and find sparkly sweaters wherever they are hidden and I would finally get that de-shedding brush for dear Molly and fix her up and clip her toenails and put a new collar on her and take her for a walk. I would pay the bills (ok, no I WOULD NOT PAY BILLS), I'd haltingly plunk out Christmas hymns on my silent piano, once unburdened from its piles of mail, while the house was empty. I would decorate the dining room table using the gingerbread house the girls made that has been languishing behind the sheets of plastic hanging everywhere while my kitchen ceiling has been open and under repair this last month or so. My real tree is already a bit dryish with 18 days until Christmas, so I would google out how to rejuvenate it. I would play a Christmas movie (probably Little Women with Wynona Ryder) while wrapping gifts slowly, (with no back pain) and a candle already purchased in advance for this purpose burning, visible from the corner of my eye and smelling of cinnamon and sugar. I would empty the back coat closet and re-organize it so we can actually find our cold-weather items we already own and probably get a bag for Goodwill of coats that no one has worn for six years. I would read a really bad Christmas novel with my slippers on and my favorite chocolate brown and baby blue afghan on my lap. I would write for a few hours looking out the window at the fog and enjoying my old/new writing desk. I would read my bible and an advent devotional and spend some time in prayer and then mediation. I would take a walk (I already did<3 Thanks Sue!) and feel awake even before my third cup of coffee. I would wash my sheets and try to find some flannel ones to put on and add extra blankets to the bed which I never seem to find time to do until about February. I would listen to Bing crooning White Christmas while I put out the chipped nativity I gave my parents when I was in junior high. I would bake some cut-out cookies, cool them and decorate them with Julia when she came in from the school bus at 3:10. (I would like this part much more than she would). I would meet a friend for lunch and talk about how hard it is to find gifts for men in general and how much easier it would be if all our shopping was for 50-something-aged women. I would write a thank you note to my hostess from this past weekend and it would come out sounding as perfect as it does in my head, but never does once keyed onto the paper. I would drive slowly through the neighborhoods oohing and ahhing at Christmas lights with my husband and daughter without them rolling their eyes. I would hang our seven stockings (yes the dog has always had one, I'm that mom), the only decoration I personally need up besides the tree, imagining my stocking from my childhood that was always hung at the corners of our pinch-pleated draperies due to a lack of fireplace mantles, and how it looked lumpy and jammed with delights. I would imagine the most beautiful hair barrettes from that stocking one year, that were too pretty to wear, but then later broke when put in an actual head of hair. I would imagine the Chrissy doll, as it looked on Christmas morning, so perfect, and as it looked a few months later when my baby sister had taken the scissors to its head of hair. Would I even remember that doll if it hadn't been close-shaven? And then I would imagine the stack of Christmas albums in our what seemed to me, enormous dark maple television and stereo console, dropping down one at a time to the turntable, and the mystery of wondering which song, which song would be next? When Perry's “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” came on I would recall caroling with my girl scout troop, and the fun of riding bundled into the back of a pick-up truck before it was illegal, going from one house in town to another singing my lungs out on a starry night and feeling, that there is surely nothing better in this world, than Christmas-time.