So hear you are again, up to your elbows in the holidays. And maybe—again—you're doing it all by rote. And possibly you've wondered: Why exactly do I do this? We're here to tell you why. Yes, Virginia, there are reasons—meaningful, moving, profoundly human reasons—for the candles, the carols, the shopping, the decorations, even the fruitcake. It may be gray and cold outside, but look: The holiday glow just got a little brighter.
To Banish the Darkness Wherever we live, whatever our traditions, our winter celebrations have one primal thing in common. Kate Braestrup sees the light.
O Come, All Ye Free Spirits Feel as if none of the standard holidays suits you? Paul Rudnick discovers that there's something to be said for inventing your own.
No Mean Feast Even in an age of plenty, there are things we hunger for. Celia Barbour takes a lesson from the ghost of glorious Christmas dinners past.
A Joyful Noise If holiday songs bring back memories, music man Rickey Minor says join the chorus.
Presents, Accounted For Cintra Wilson dares to shop for a few people who have everything, and unwraps the real point of giving gifts.
Shelter from the Storm Buffeted by change and unexpected sorrow, Catherine Newman finds comfort in a $3.99 crèche.