Christmas in September

Outside, California sunshine and Indian summer temperatures compete with a devastating horizon of blue sky and sea.

Inside, Christmas trees and vintage Santa Claus ornaments battle with historic photos of the Salvation Army.

Meanwhile, a PR person just sent me another box of rocks. Over the past several weeks, we’ve graduated from a box of dirt to a box of gravel, and now I’m all the way up to a real, honest-to-goodness boxful of black rocks. I still haven’t quite figured out that marketing campaign.

But I have to put it all aside for a few minutes and finish my editorial letter. Something witty, something poignant, something about snow and sparkling lights and sugar cookies. Something trimmed in satin and lace and placed beneath the tree.

I have to switch gears from the garden outside my window, gasping for a drink of water, to an imaginary landscape, dusted with winter magic. It’s time for my thinking cap. I just have to make sure I don’t accidentally wear the one made out of tinfoil . . .

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