Christmas. A time of joy and angst, of stress and eggnog, of little voices sharp and near, and of others faint and far away. It's a time when we wish for snow and ice, but hate it as we slip and slide through Christmas shopping, when we swear this year we'll bake bread and make our cards and have an old fashioned celebration and then run out at the last minute to buy what everybody really wants. We embrace the ones we have around us and miss the ones we've lost, put antlers on our cats and stockings on our walls. We set our jaws and stride gamely into the nearest mall only to hyperventilate because we've no idea what to buy - the people we know best are suddenly complete enigmas. It is the best of times and the worst of times, the season of holly and folly.