We had a few friends over to decorate the tree this evening, and conversation turned, as it will, to the kinds of traditions we create, now that we’re grownups. Tree-trimming is the big one, for us; we’ve been doing it since back in the day when we had lots of friends, lots of energy, and the funds to throw an actual party. Times do change. We’re not sure how the rest of it will turn out, now that we have kids — there’s the whole Santa fiasco, the hiding of gifts, the efforts to secure the tree from small grasping hands. There are things we’d like from the season, but those seem elusive at best: music. Time with friends and loved ones. A sense of peace, perhaps even of joy. But where the hell are we supposed to find all that in the chaos we’re swimming in? We seem to end up instead with a short occasional visit, a panicked rush on making gifts that we’ve been planning since June, and a general sense of seasonal affective disorder. This is no real surprise, but it is a disappointment. I suspect my real problem is not the holidays at all, though there’s obviously enough trouble there. I suspect my real problem is the looming prospect of February. I may need to seriously consider moving to where there’s more light.