In the past, I’ve always found cleaning and arranging our sun room to accommodate a Xmas tree a quietly thrilling, even, er, joyous task. Never do it on a bad-weather day. Make sure to play some glorious classic I haven’t heard in a long while (this year: The Wailers, Catch a Fire (Deluxe Edition) — unqualified recommendation, of course — I’d forgotten how much “Baby We’ve Got a Date (Rock It Baby)” was a throwback to ’50s teen rock or how strange and haunting “Midnight Ravers” is — still not entirely sure what it’s about, other than a stoned-out vision).
Every moment has less tingle and more anxiety right now, but I found the holiday prep calmed my mind and I felt happy, even a bit creative. Holiday rituals — more invincible than I feared.