Barreling through the holidays

This was one of the nicest turkeys days I've ever had, in no small part due to the lack of turkey on the menu. Nicole and I holed up by ourselves and it turns out that we do a pretty fine job working in the kitchen together. I made a beef roast and baked yet more bread and she took care of the green bean casserole, asparagus, and mashed potatoes, gravy, and some seriously evil chocolate-y desserts. For the first time in memory, everything worked. There were no duds and, while there were leftovers, they weren't left over very long and not a bite went to waste.

Then, by some miracle, the house was transformed that very night into a winter wonderland, festooned with tinsel and garland and a tree and stockings get the idea. By "miracle" I mean, of course, Nicole. I think, hoping I don't jinx it, that we are well-prepared for the coming month and we're going to enjoy it. This isn't usually my favorite time of the year but I feel up to it. I normally tend towards melancholy during the winter, but there's no reason not to push back against that tendency.

One thing that helps is that, while my plate seems pretty fully, it's full largely of things I've chosen to heap on to it. That makes a big difference. It's the time-based obligations of the holidays that get under my skin, but when I'm actually looking forward to most of what's on the calendar this time around. I'd like to think it's a matter of "gaining wisdom," but I suspect it has more to do with my partner than any special insights I've acquired.

Even the cards and the shopping feel less stressful this year (he says haven't not actually completely either). My mother's going to be coming down here to visit, and she's easy to buy for. Nicole has broadly hinted as to what she would like to see under the tree. It all feels relatively more doable than in most years. 

While I'm almost 100% certain that this sort of thing has been happening for my entire life (and longer), the days feel shorter than I can ever remember them feeling. It's weird, but six in the evening seems a great deal like ten and I don't recall that being the case. I don't even have a good theory as to why this should be the case, but the case it most certainly is. 

Oh! This is wholly unrelated to the holidays, but I don't want to forget to mention it. I'm currently reading Zadie Smith's White Teeth and, while it's not a quick read, it's delightful. I'm not sure what I expected, but "fun" wasn't it. I've only read her non-fiction which is careful and precise and scholarly even when discussing non-scholarly subjects. White Teeth is, at least thus far, a blast, full of dry wit and touchingly unfortunate characters. 

There. That should about do it for tonight. Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.