They get wedged in the crook of my chimney flue, if you catch my drift.
Burgundy, if possible, and absorbent for wine spills, and plush, so plush, like the original upholstering of the seats in the Mariinsky Theater on the night the Nutcracker debuted.
Too wide and it resembles pajamas. Too checkered and it resembles a tablecloth. Too much white and it looks executive. Too much black and it looks lumberjack. Too red and green and it looks like a kilt. I like those shiny plaid party dresses, but worry that they will make me look like a child. Ditto for prep school skirts. I want a plaid shirt but don’t own an iron, which renders any collar unwearable after the first wash. Plaid scarves are a must, but don’t pack enough punch. Plaid lining makes even the ugliest of coats desirable, thus making it sartorially dangerous. How to get that wrapped-up in ribbon and twine look while still appearing like a serious, normal adult?
I need all of these items. A wreath? Can never have too many. A handheld radio? Essential for power outages. A pop-up lantern? Perfect for camping out under the table with a plate of cookies. A headlamp? Great for attic gift spelunking. A fleece-lined flannel shirt? All clothes should be lined with a blanket. Sheepskin booties? Just look at them.
Though I spend most of the year trying to outsmart junk mailings with pseudonyms and trails of fake addresses, I cherish the arrival of the holiday catalog. I save it for when I’m all alone, then dim the lights, cue the Motown holiday hits, bust out the mulled cider, and slowly peruse each page with a sharpie and a set of post-its while slathering myself with maple syrup and peppermint melt-away crumbles. Wherever you are, I hope your Christmas Eve is bursting with the anticipation of sugary treats and snowy nights bundled with fleece, of french toast doused in jam and syrup, and inessential essentials piled beneath the tree come morning.
Last December, I was walking up Broadway, humming a Carpenter’s tune and feeling generally wholesome when two sexy Santas stumbled out of a bar, puked on the curb, then asked me if I had a cigarette. Nay! I wanted to say. And by the way, who’s the one claiming to be Santa here? Fix your buttons! Get in character! Instead I shook my head and smiled. A good dose of Christmas cheer never hurt anyone.
I know I should be wary of sexy Santas, but in truth, I find them endearing, and a testament to the strength of the Christmas spirit. What other holiday inspires people to put on an old man’s outfit, snip the hems to a rated-R length, and romp around the city in a Suessian hat and a pair of buckled boots? So all you modest ChristmasFreaks, I give you my blessing. Unshackle yourselves! Don your suspenders and your Santa short shorts! Unclasp the buttons from their holes! Unclasp the buckles from their belts! Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs! In two days it’ll be Christmas. Go nuts!
Feet remain cold for the longest time. Then they perspire. Then they become unbearably hot. Then they feel damp. Then they are cold again. I can’t be the only one who has this problem.