~ “Christmas,” said Doctor Drinkwater as his red-cheeked face sped smoothly toward Smoky’s, “is a kind of day, like no other in the year, that doesn’t seem to succeed the days it follows, if you see what I mean.” . . .
“I mean,” Doctor Drinkwater said, reappearing beside him, “that every Christmas seems to follow immediately after the last one; all the months that came between don’t figure in. Christmases succeed each other, not the falls they follow.”. . .
It was true what Doc had said, that Christmas succeeds Christmas rather than the days it follows. That had become apparent to Smoky in the last few days. . .
. . . Smoky charged with rum-tea sat down in the imaginary study to begin his letter. He spoiled one sheet because the rickety writing-table there rocked beneath his careful pen; he shimmed the leg with a matchbook and began again.
“My dear Santa, First of all it’s only right that I explain about last year’s wish. I won’t excuse myself by saying I was a little drunk, though I was, and I am (it’s getting to be a Christmas habit, as everything about Christmas gets to be a habit, but you know all about that). Anyway, if I shocked you or strained your powers by such a request I’m sorry; I meant only to be flip and let off a little steam. I know (I mean I assume) it’s not in your power to give one person to another, but the fact is my wish was granted. Maybe only because I wanted it then more than anything, and what you want so much you’re just likely to get. So I don’t know whether to thank you or not. I mean I don’t know whether you’re responsible; and I don’t know whether I’m grateful.”
“Anyway,” he began again, “my desires this year are a little clouded. I would like one of those instruments you use to sharpen the blades of an old-fashioned lawn mower. I would like the missing volume of Gibbon (Vol. II) which somebody’s apparently taken out to use as a doorstop or something and lost.” He thought of listing publisher and date, but a feeling of futility and silence came over him, drifting deep. “Santa,” he wrote, “I would like to be one person only, not a whole crowd of them, half of them always trying to turn their backs and run whenever somebody”–Sophie, he meant, Alice, Cloud, Doc, Mother; Alice most of all–”looks at me. I want to be brave and honest and shoulder my burdens. I don’t want to leave myself out while a bunch of slyboots figments do my living for me.” He stopped, seeing he was growing unintelligible. He hesitated over the complimentary close; he thought of using “Yours as ever,” but thought that might sound ironic or sneering, and at last wrote only “Yours &c.,” as his father always had, which then seemed ambiguous and cool; what the hell anyway; and he signed it: Evan S. Barnable. . .
When he received these communications, Santa drew the claws of his spectacles from behind his ears and pressed the sore place on the bridge of his nose with thumb and finger. What was it they expected him to do with these? A shotgun, a bear, snowshoes, some pretty things and some useful: well, all right. But for the rest of it…He just didn’t know what people were thinking anymore. But it was growing late; if they, or anyone else, were disappointed in him tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. He took his furred hat from its peg and drew on his gloves. He went out, already unaccountably weary though the journey had not even begun, into the multicolored arctic waste beneath a decillion stars, whose near brilliance seemed to chime, even as the harness of his reindeer chimed when they raised their shaggy heads at his approach, and as the eternal snow chimed too when he trod it with his booted feet.
-John Crowley, Little, Big~
First something twee, but effective:
then something silly and sweet:
Best and last of all:
Boban Markovic Orkestar!
Boban and crew is all I want to listen to these days.
No matter how dark, the sun is coming back.