Sometimes I can’t believe what my senses tell me is true. I fell asleep this afternoon under a gloriously soft new blanket and woke to find the stockings had been hung after all. So it is really and truly Christmas here, the first day of twelve.

I have opened and devoured the books that were my friends when I was small. Looking at them with adult eyes, I’ve a new appreciation for them — Bergman’s devotion to the personhood of the disabled, his respectful treatment of his subjects, his keen eye for the perfect shot — and, if anything, wish he would do a series that shows how things have changed twenty-five years on. Of course, Sweden then seems about as advanced as the United States now.

And there are more books waiting: Pitchforks & Torches, the first two Dog books, Die Spieler (good God, my aunt hid three hundred-dollar bills in there). Also, when next I go out, I have shiny new colours to try on my eyes and a small jar of mineral foundation. Also also, I’m really quite fond of these pyjamas and this robe.

I thought we were having a small Christmas, but it’s one of the grandest I’ve known, for all its humility. I think, in having adapted to less, I am coming to appreciate more. I’m happier with the TV tray and the three hampers in one than I would have been with gadgets, you know? With used editions of old childhood favourite books than with a whole array of shiny new ones (though I love my shiny new ones, too). With soft things that’ll soothe my skin when it hurts than with the latest in high-fashion furs, faux or otherwise.

Best of all are the people: cards, emails, texts, conversations, you’re all here with me somehow, loving me like I still don’t always believe I deserve.


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