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  • Christmas morning.

    No one else awake in the house. No cars on the street.

    The bank of gray cloud that was moving over the area last night has settled.

    Casting that pale pallid hue over the garden, that light that I associate most closely with Christmases long ago at my grandparent's house in Bramshott.

    Christmases filled with the excited tearing of wrapping paper while smoke and the chatter of a gathering, well-stoked with alcohol, swirled around me.

    Whatever toy I ended up with - and they were all good in those days - was my passport away from the adults, consumed as they were in small talk, smothering away the tensions simmering beneath.

    I took that passport and ran. Outside. Upstairs. Into the attic.

    Consumed by the gift.

    Now.

    No gifts. Not strictly true, as my dear parents have both sent delights.

    But no gifts in that old sense. No Christmas in that old sense, either. My lovely Jewish wife has no great affinity for it. Unsurprisingly.

    But I am home from work. And will cook a fine dinner, today broiled swordfish. The wine bottle will open. Candles may be lit. Just three of us, peacefully and pleasingly enjoying each other's company.

    But that's for later in the day.

    Now I'm at the computer. A cup of tea in hand. And a relic of a strange musical period that I took no part in whatsoever playing over and over to fill the morning.

    The summer of love. No, not that summer of love. The ones of 1998 and 1999 that bypassed the baby boomers altogether and filled the clubs with acid house and rave music.

    Music that filtered back to me via a set of Hed Kandi compilation CDs and fills me with more joy than anything from Monterey, baby boomer, albeit a young baby boomer, that I be.

    So on Christmas Day, Saturday night is shining on my Sunday morning face.

    (As performed by T-Empo)

    And I'm not sure if I could ask for a better start to Christmas Day than this.

    With that, I hope all of you are filling similarly buoyed. If not right now, hopefully soon.

    Right?
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