I'm a little afraid of a meltdown under the mistletoe.
So far Christmas looming on the frosty horizon isn't freaking me out too much, but it's still early. The carols have only just started to play in the stores and there are but a handful of early birds with their outdoor light displays in full electric bloom. There's still lots of time to feel suffocated by the joy of the season.
So I'm trying to make the most of it while I can. Before the rum-laced egg nog induced sobbing I see in my not-so-distant future begins.
I'm trying to do things differently this year too. It started out quite unconsciously with my desire to have two trees and to unwrap presents in the family room instead of the living room where we've done it for three Christmases - ever since we got married and moved into the house. Once I got hold of the idea of doing things a little differently than we would have if Thomas was here, I've been running with it.
So two trees instead of one, different coloured lights outside and a casual little Christmas tea for our immediate families early in December. That's what I've got planned for this year so far.
I don't know if ultimately it's going to be enough to keep the sorrow at bay - and maybe it's not even a good idea to try - but for now it's keeping me humming along on a nice, even keel. And my God, that's a minor miracle at the best of times.
I'm sure that Christmas Eve will be hard. I know I'll ache to tuck Thomas in and read him The Grinch just like My Beloved did last Christmas Eve when Thomas was still safely in my belly, and I know the house will be unbearably quiet on Christmas morning with just the sounds of paper crinkling instead of our sweet baby babbling. I know we'll take far less pictures than we would have and I know the faces of our families will be strained as they deal with their own sorrow while trying to imagine the depth of ours.
I know I'll cry enough tears to keep the tree watered for a week. Maybe more. And I know I'll do it quietly when no one but My Beloved is around to hear.
When I finally lay my head down to sleep on Christmas night, I won't miss my Thomas more than I already do - or more than I have in the 9 months it'll have been since he left us - I'll miss him the same as I always do and hurt as much as I always have.
It'll just seem worse.