3…2…1: Cook!

Now begins one of my favorite weeks of the year. Turkey is out of the freezer already. The kitchen will always smell like something good.

John and Priscilla here, pious though they may appear in the daytime, are known to spend the wee hours chasing down Pepper Hen to gather the eggs they’ll need for their feast. Later, she will give him a peck on the cheek and tell him not to be so wooden.

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We cross neither river nor woods; grandmother’s house will have to wait until Christmas. The idea of getting on an airplane this time of year crams me with dread. We would rather have guests, the group I call The Usual Suspects. Their warmth, the aroma of the hot dishes they bring, their voices and their children’s laughter will fill a grateful house.

And after dinner, as we dangle wine glasses from languid hands around the fire pit out back, the stars will slow and wheel around the inky sky in their annual parade into winter, and gratitude will feel like that old, best jacket, the one with the threadbare elbows you would never even consider throwing away

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