Based on an article that first appeared at

I spent most of my November weekends in hiding – there were too many big and little people in my home. The turkey and pumpkin were amazing. So was the whipped cream on the pie and the Kahlua and cream left in the sink. But the house was much too busy, noisy, and crowded. I could hardly get to my litterbox in peace. Finally, on Sunday night, the crowd cleared out, and I could get some rest. 

Now starts my favorite time of year - Christmas. My peeps have again realized that I want a forest built in the living room. They all piled in the car and disappeared for a few hours. When they came back, they brought along a beautiful big evergreen tree that smelled of the pines up north. It had leaves between the branches and other great smells of furry little critters and birds. 

Dad and the kids hauled it in. Fortunately, Mom tied the top to a hook in the ceiling. This stabilizes it so well that I can climb up and down the trunk and even out onto the branches without it tipping over. The water in the base is delicious to drink, even though I have been told to leave it alone. 

Once the tree warms up, Mom will begin to add lights, candy canes, strings of popcorn, bells, and tinsel. Each of these additions makes the tree more interesting. For the sake of that kitten that also lives here, Mom wrapped the cord to the twinkling lights in that black corrugated plastic. She was worried that he would chew through the cord and electrocute himself. That could have made my house more restful. The bells are kinda annoying – when Mom hears them and comes running, she shoos me and the baby cat out of the branches. The popcorn is tasty – I love crunching on that. The tinsel glitters when I bat it. She said the baby cat isn't allowed to eat the tinsel or popcorn strings – that they will hurt his insides. And the candy canes are pretty, but I can't get through the wrappers to taste the mint – it smells like the catnip I love so much that she brings in during the summer. 

There are boughs and wreaths of evergreen on the mantle, expanding the forest in the house. As the days go by, more and more boxes end up under this great pine forest in our living room. I love having the lights on the Christmas tree twinkling at night – the rest of the year, the rooms are so dark at night. Now I can wander the house and not be surprised at where the kitten is hiding. 

The bows on the boxes are fun to chew up. The packages have such great scents – I love trying to guess what is wrapped inside. I think I smell sausage and cheese in the ones from Wisconsin. I am sure that there will be lots of great presents under the tree for me! I am hoping for a new heated kitty bed to get me through this cold winter. And maybe one of those fancy self-cleaning litter boxes. 

St. Nick's Day comes before Christmas. The kids get oranges and cookies. I am hoping for those yummy Churu snacks! 

The Elf on the Shelf kinda creeps me out. Every day, he is sitting somewhere else in the house, with his beady little eyes staring at me. I can't wait for him to pack it up and leave for the season. I don't want him watching me use the litter box – that is a private activity that he should not be staring at. 

There is a beautiful roaring fire in the fireplace. I love having a warm place near the fire to snuggle up. The kids' stockings are now hanging on the mantle. I don't see one with my name on it – how could they have forgotten I was their baby before they had their two-legged babies? 

Finally, Christmas Eve arrives. We have delicious oysters for dinner. And a bit of cheesecake, my favorite dessert. There is an important trip to church for a midnight service to help everyone remember "The Reason for the Season." I had a chance to catch up on my sleep while they were all gone. 

Before bed, the kids went outside and to sprinkle "Reindeer food" on the lawn – they said they put in oatmeal and glitter in the mix so the Reindeer can find our home. They left cookies on the hearth for Santa. They must have left that glass of milk for me and that new kitten. I will be the only one up when Santa delivers the presents. I slept through his visit last year, somehow. 

Finally, the big day arrives. Grandpa and Grandma came home with the family after church last night. They brought their big stupid dog, who chases me up the tree – again. He should have a little respect for my old bones. Good thing they have me on that Flexadin stuff so I can get out of his way. 

The kids are up early Christmas morning– of course – with big expectations of what Santa left for each of them. There are Legos – that Grandpa's dog wants to eat. There are dolls with little shoes that our crazy kitten wants to play with. Thank goodness there is no new puppy under the Christmas tree – no one has time today to tend to a new family member.

After the presents are opened, that kitten dives into the piles of torn-off gift wrap, like jumping in leaves on the lawn. Mom is very careful to pick up and toss all the ribbon – she says that naughty kitten could end up with a serious surgery if he swallows ribbon. 

Finally, they start setting out the appetizers and snacks. My favorite? Of course, I love the cheese. But the best is the Ma Baensch's pickled Herring in sour cream sauce. Every year, I try to sneak onto the kitchen counter and grab a piece of that delicious cream and fish combo. I haven't told that kitten about it yet. He already gets me into enough trouble. 

Now, my favorite part of the day – dinner! I love the ham and turkey. But my people are pretty careful – they won't leave the leftovers on the dining room table cuz they have caught me up there before enjoying the meal they set out for me. Now that there is a kitten in the house (ugg), they are especially careful – he gets into everything, then I get blamed for it!

After dinner, Aunt Sally settles in with a Brandy Alexander. When she drinks "whine," the house dog slurps it with her. But when she starts on the Brandy and Ice Cream, a drink well-loved in the dairy state of Wisconsin, I get in on the action. I think she knows I am sneaking a few laps when her back is turned. 

Once the kids have their gifts and we have had a nice dinner, we get to the dog and cat's gifts. YEAH! I got both my new heated kitty bed and Churu snacks. The kitten isn't sharing my new bed. I can't wait for everyone to go back home and back to school so I can get some rest. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!