On Christmas ...
I claim to be festive phobic. However, I know that I escape it to avoid the loss. Part of me found something to love in the awfulness of it all, a series of now-missing someones. Bear this in mind should you find yourself lamenting “having” to spend Christmas with your family: one minute you have to, the next you can’t.

from Hannah Betts, We Should Cherish Christmas, The Times, 21 December 2016

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life