Each year, the pre-holiday mood takes me by surprise, though really one should know to expect it. It just creeps up on me, quicker than I expect. And I’m not sure that I like it, though I definitely like all the nice foods. Everyone seems to disappear from the face of the earth, or rather, the work-earth, boarding planes and heading toward family life. Time to wander through Central Park. At the tennis courts, people had shovels, to clear away the snow and play for a bit. I did my share with the shovel, faint memories of serious snow in the alps on my mind. That’s what I mean about my mood at Christmas, always a bit too close to home-sickness to be genuinely enjoyed, and yet too quickly over, and then it’s back to…work.