I have left Birdsong in a blaze of solstice-full-moon-eclipse glory, and after spending the night at a Christchurch hostel, Iam about to hit the open road for some much needed camping and tramping. This is assuming that a) my eminent car purchase goes through; and b) I manage to safely drive said automobile out of the city while remaining on the left side of the road. My stomach is currently contemplating this with a series of spasms.
Anyway, with the approach of Christmas, a holiday I love but am currently trying to put out of my mind, I am of course missing my family. And the sensations of over-indulgence in the food and drink imbiding. And the snow. And fireside naps on the floor. And putting my cold feet on my sister Isa's warm legs. And aggressively snuggling whatever fuzzy animal is around and willing. And the six to eight black men.
Every Christmas my family listens to David Sedaris's essay "Six to Eight Black Men" - which details the finer points of the Dutch St. Nicholas Tradition. It involves blind hunters in Michigan, the former bishop of Turkey, grotesque elves, former slaves, and a Spanish-speaking Santa. If for some horrible reason you are not already familiar, read it or listen to it immediately. Sadly, I cannot work the link from this interwebbing device, so you are on your own.
Be well, and happy holidays!