That magical time of year is here when I can do online shopping 'til I drop with no guilt whatsover (unless I do something silly like ordering from Brookstone's). Now that we have Amazon wish lists, it removes any embarrassment from stating exactly what you want and any uncertainty about what you'll get. Just as well I converted to Judaism. We buy the kids a few things and fire up the ol' menorahs (including the lumpy and dramtically multihued one that Sarah and I made together a couple of years ago). So we can just skip over the disturbing mall Santas, retail frenzy and other manifestations of Christmas, some of which are described by Mimi. As Wilma Flintstone says: "Doo doo doo doot do doooo... CHARGE it!"
It's also the time of year -- actually before the time of year -- when we start expecting snow. We had about two inches a few days ago, which delights the kids but makes the grownups scowl because it refuses to melt. The reason is that it's been so cold, which means we have to bundle the kids into snowpants and boots all the time, and which also makes we want to buy a hat for myself, and which also froze Ben's left rear wheel this morning, causing him to drive in reverse up and down our steet until it warmed up enough to unstick and the wheel could start rotating instead of dragging like an unwilling dog at the end of a leash. However, it could be worse; at least we can cope with snow most of the time, unlike people in places like Jerusalem or Oxford where everyone and everything falls apart at the first flake. This apparently happens in Seattle as well.