Time to move on

The Christmas tree, the stockings — including the “Meow” one for Sasha that everyone likes so much — and the candles that come on by themselves when the light is low, meaning I don’t have to turn them on and off every night … they’re all put away now.

Suzi did most of the work on the tree, although I untwisted the lights from the branches, the beads and each other. Although they didn’t all go out when one went out, enough strings malfunctioned that we had to fill in the gaps with unused lights.

We’ve since acquired colored lights to replace the jury-rigged white ones, along with garland, so the tree will look different this year.

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Just when you think you’ve heard all the Christmas music

The yelp caused me to bolt off the couch and hurry to the kitchen.

Suzi was making a buche de Noel, the last of her weekly pre-Christmas treats. Even though I had warned her not to expect it to be as effortless or perfect as Mary Berry’s Yule log, the fact of the matter is I’m married to a perfectionist, so I wondered what kind of disaster I was walking into.

It wound up having nothing to do with the baking.

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The week gone by — Dec. 20

When I first went to college, I met a girl.

No, this isn’t one of those stories, although we got along well for a time, and she was pretty cute if I remember correctly.

We eventually wound up in different circles, and I think it just sort of happened, although it didn’t help that I …

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Oh, the pain … the Christmas pain

All of a sudden, Suzi got very excited as we were listening to Jolly, which is by far the best of the SiriusXM holiday music channels we’ve listened to.

The music’s mostly up-tempo, as opposed to some channels that seem to be into Christmas dirges, and there’s good variety … important when I’m pretty sure we heard three or four different versions of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in two hours.

So what had my wife so excited?

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The week gone by — Dec. 6

I think we experienced a miracle.

As part of our effort to more fully lean into Christmas, Suzi and I made the 45-minute drive to Boston to see the Christmas lights.

After parking in the underground garage at Boston Common, we saw the city’s Christmas tree — as always, from Nova Scotia — then circled up Beacon Hill to the State House.

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The week gone by — Nov. 29

It will probably be annoying by the 50th time I hear it, but it was nice to have the season’s first playing of Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” the other day.

Even though I gave an amnesty for anyone who wanted to get their Christmas on early this year — because … 2020 — we stuck to our standard of waiting until after Thanksgiving.

However, the Christmas music went on not long after Thanksgiving dinner.

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Christmas? In August?

Sure, it’s only mid-August, but why not get yourself a pumpkin spice latte?

And grab some Halloween candy while you’re at it.

Hey … go big! Hallmark’s Christmas movies don’t start until October, but you can listen to songs of the season right now.

And there’s a decent chance one of the HBO channels is showing “Love Actually” right now.

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Christmas Eve at church

“Knees on kneeler, butt on seat.”

This was a vital lesson Suzi taught me the first time I went to Christmas Eve services with her parents, since I’m not Catholic and rarely went to church.

My knees continue to thank her to this day.

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The only Christmas music guide you’ll need

Sure, there are about a million Christmas songs, but what are the ones you should go out of your way to listen to?

My blog buddy Renata of Buffalo Sauce Everywhere and the Overrated/Underrated podcast have you covered.

We had been kicking around the idea of doing a joint blog entry for a while, and since it’s the Christmas season, we decided to join forces to share with you, our readers, the very best Christmas music.

The 10 songs below, five from her and five from me, are ones you should rejoice in when you hear them between now and Dec. 25.

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