good thing I didn't call the police (and other december happenings)

Did I ever tell you the story of how I was nearly killed by a robber the other night? No? Well then, pull up a chair, let me tell it to you.

It was a dark Wednesday night, the eve of a snowstorm. Isn't that when bad things always happen? At night in the middle of the week with an impending snowstorm? Anyway, I came home from school as usual and let myself in the house and dumped my backpack, purse, and coat on the bench in the dining room as usual (oops, sorry Mom) and sat down on the dining room floor to pet my dog.

And then I heard the sunroom door open in my parent's room.

(There's a sunroom - an enclosed porch, really - off to the side of my house. There's a door to the backyard, and doors to both my parents' room and my brother's room.)

It came across loud and clear to my dog too, because he ran in there barking - and then limped back whimpering, the fur on his neck raised. I freaked out because, among other things, he's afraid of strange men, and so I very rationally concluded that there was a strange man at the sunroom door because, duh, my 60-pound Labrador was trying to hide behind me.

Do you know how scary it is to be at home alone - AT NIGHT - and then hear a door open while your large dog offers no assistance? It's scary, let me tell you.

I scrambled into the living room and searched frantically for a weapon. Can you imagine? Me! Looking for a weapon to wield! Well, what's a girl supposed to do when she suspects she's being robbed? If I'm gonna get robbed, I'm gonna go down fighting, by George!

The weapon idea was quickly abandoned when I couldn't unearth anything more lethal than a rolled up newspaper and a couch pillow. Briefly, I considered calling the police, but dismissed it when I realized my phone was in the dining room and therefore too close to the alleged robber.

So, I decided that my best bet - if my house was, at that very moment, being forcibly entered - was to get the heck out of there.

I hotfooted it over to my neighbor and desperately rapped on her door, then stood there like a blathering idiot because I THINK MY HOUSE IS GETTING ROBBED WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO AHHHH. You know. That sort of thing.

Together we went back to my house and peered into the sunroom from the outside - nothing. We cautiously tip-toed into the house and into my parents' bedroom - still nothing. Poked around the rest of the house - nothing either.

Unable to find any evidence of the would-be burglar, my neighbor left and I curled up next to my dog, phone securely in hand in case Robber Boy decided to show up again (I'd since mustered up the courage to retrieve it from the dining room).

When my family got home, Operation Find-Out-Who-Opened-The-Door was immediately in full effect and...

...turns out Robber Boy was a raccoon. A raccoon! He'd crawled in through the cat door and leaned up against the door, pushing it slightly open, shaving a solid five years off my life.

I should probably be thankful that I didn't get around to calling the police - can't you just see the headline? "Girl, 17, Thinks She Is Being Robbed And Dials 911 Only To Discover Robber Is Raccoon." Kevin in Home Alone made defending his home from the Wet Bandits seem like a walk in the park, while little ol' me was unable to keep herself from panicking over a freakin' raccoon. Good grief.

Oh! Speaking of Christmas movies, we got our tree, see? It's pretty. (Also I just took this photo three minutes ago from where I'm sitting on the couch typing this, please be proud of me)

I must confess: we didn't actually buy our tree from the place pictured below. We're Lowe's Home and Garden section Christmas tree kinda people. But when you're running errands and drive past a quiet little Christmas tree lot, well...what's a girl gonna do?

You know how Buddy the Elf says that "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear?" Well, it's true. I went caroling in a nursing home with a couple friends on Sunday and even though I am no singer, there is something incredibly sacred about singing Christmas carols. I might have cried on the last verse of Silent Night? Gets me every time.

Happiest of Decembers to you all!