"...in spite of the rhetoric, nothing's any cheerier because of these ridiculous holidays. In my experience, everything just gets that much more complicated and tiresome. My families are all emotionally riotous. Dealing with people in general takes five times as much energy and time to get anything done. People drive around in a hypercaffeinated panic, ruthlessly poaching parking spots in their grim quests for Christmas baubles. Just about the only thing I do enjoy about this time of year is the weather.
Bracing, palpable cold! Watching cheeks flush, feeling the atmosphere countervail my usually burdensome body heat when I'm cycling up the long hills or navigating the clumsy car traffic. Misting breath punctuating animated conversation. The panoply of functional accessories; scarves and gloves, hats and coats lending dignity, and a calmer mystique, to the roiling sexuality of fashion (it's so much more erotic to imagine what might be underneath, as opposed to seeing everything at first glance). Economy of movement and exposure means that a lot of things are more considered and deliberate; the frivolous stay indoors and wait for warmer weather. And so then sunlight is more precious, more noticeably appreciable. When the sun does go down, it's blankets and coffee, a world that hoards and savors warmth..."