Having traded a sub-zero temperature Christmas for one in which the 60-degree mark was achieved, I can't say I'm disappointed with my change in habitat.
That's just one of the many reasons I'm excited this Christmas.
The Steelers are winning games, and they're winning tough, physical games as well as silky-smooth and fast shootouts. The team's defense has improved considerably late in the season, and they're a home win away from a division championship.
I find the highest and best enjoyment for the soul is cherishing the big picture and not getting wrapped up in the details. Things have changed considerably for me since the Steelers last made a push deep into the playoffs. Back then, I wrote for the site less and I appreciated the games more. I find myself concentrating on site traffic a little less and breaking out old Steelers Pregame Playlists more often. In re-connecting with a far more excitable and homer-ish version of myself, I remember the reasons I love football.
It's about the preparation. It's about the what-ifs. It's about playing out every scenario that may happen - it could be a blowout win, it could be a tight loss, it could be a mediocre game in which Andy Dalton drops the ball five times. It's about being in tune with that feeling of anticipation the cold weather always brings in me.
For me, when it comes to the Steelers, nothing is more exciting and invigorating than chilly temperatures and the optimistic albeit seemingly surrealistic feeling the Steelers can be one of those teams that generate enough late-season momentum and get their highest-and-best game plan together late, and become the team no one wants to play in the postseason.
That kind of emotion is swirling about me as I try to write as quickly as I can before The Monster In The Crib awakes. Perhaps it speaks to a bad set of priorities for me in life (certainly not my only or worst flaw), but my ideal Christmas is one in which the Steelers matter in terms of the postseason, combined with the cold air, stress of family gatherings and that point at the end of the day, tired and mentally warm, but soulfully glowing because tomorrow, the Steelers still matter, I still have the best family on earth and you all are still reading what I write.
I don't want anything else for Christmas, because I already have everything I need to keep me going.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you, wherever you are. It's going to be one helluva new year too.