The gauntlet of the mall has been run several times over, and with success. Guestlists have been cemented within reasonable margins. Nog abounds. My home is primed for Christmas, but what does one do with the few days between now and then? Being ready early creates a quiet, smoldering stress, the feeling that you should be doing something. Do we have the right tablecloth? Should we pick up those swizzle-sticks? Since during this season all are expected to be rushing around getting ready, the entire engine of the US is set towards that one goal. There’s nothing else to do. So, I will sit quietly in my home, letting the dulling glow of the tree distract me.