The Christmas tree is still standing this morning, despite the manic attempts by my cat Alvin to help redecorate it each of the past 21 days and nights.

And now, in this small trough of calm water between holidays, I am entertaining the thought of removing the more breakable ornaments and hanging catnip in the highest branches to see if Alvin really will climb all the way to the top of the 10-foot monolith.

Sanity prevails, of course, and I know that next year’s tree would be toast if I followed through on my cocoa musings as daylight creeps through the living room window and helps to clear my muddled thinking.

December 27th, technically the third day of the 12 days of Christmas, and I’m pausing here to gather my thoughts about the year past and the coming new one. Reflection is good for the soul, and helps us put things into perspective.

Life, despite a myriad of pitfalls, pratfalls, and other challenges that have befallen me this past year, is nevertheless good. And Alvin, my ever-faithful companion and champion ornament remover, certainly agrees.