It was a cold and misty day here today, of the sort that makes me extremely glad that a) I work from home and b) my work can be done from bed, without ever changing out of pajamas. I wasn’t feeling well in the first place, so the fact that I could be productive and cozy at the same time was the only thing that kept me remotely sane. I’m not sick, I don’t think, as much as just a little tired, a little cranky, and getting overly excited about Christmas. I love Christmas. I celebrate it largely secularly, but I totally buy into the magic.

I like misty days for the same reason. There’s something magic in mist as well, in the way it lets you see the world through a soft filter, blurring sharp edges and gentling colors, and giving even the steadiest of lights a bit of twinkle.

I like that twinkle. I like coming home in the mist-wrapped darkness and seeing the reflection of lights in the rain-slicked pavement, and witnessing the way our neighborhood, especially on the streets around the park, turns from a normal suburban environment into a veritable fairyland at this time of year.

Speaking of twinkles. I like the twinkle in the eyes of the neighborhood kids as they race around on their bikes and scooters and skateboards in the afternoons, and I like the way they stop and wave when I’m walking the dogs, and ask how they are, and know their names. I like seeing even the “coolest” of them let out their personal bubble of delight when they enter the park and the lights are on. I love that even though we don’t have kids, we live in the kind of neighborhood where it’s safe for them to play basketball in their driveways, and even in the streets, because cars don’t speed here.

Wednesday night, there’s a concert in the park. It’s the annual Christmas fete thrown by the HOA, and it’s free to anyone who lives there. “Bring cookies to share,” they ask. And so tonight on the way home from playing elf for a friend of my parents, we stopped so I could stock up on chocolate chips and red and green sprinkles.

As we drove back home, I stopped talking, and watched the lights. This weekend will see the peak of the neighborhood decorations, but when we get home they’ll have started to take them down – some of them.

Fuzzy pulled me back from the door as I was about to open it, and smiled at me, and kissed me.

I think he could see me twinkle.

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