It was a very comfortable room, though the carpet was faded and the furniture very plain, for a good picture or two hung on the walls, books filled the recesses, chrysanthemums and Christmas roses bloomed in the windows, and a pleasant atmosphere of home peace pervaded it.
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
There have been further signs of the approach of Christmas and Hanukkah. Though I like these better than I enjoy Halloween, still they are filled with things not to be touched, strange events (tree inside the home) and visits upon which I am not invited. Our family celebrates both holidays, as Man’s family is Jewish, and Woman’s celebrates Christmas. There is a hint in the air this year–in the very tones of voice of Woman and Man–that they will be traveling this Christmas. Reader, I can read them very well by now. They talk excitedly to one another, and then look at me sadly, regretting that they cannot bring me. Of course, they can bring me, but they have bowed to social conventions which dictate that they cannot. Alas.
I will be taking a sojourn of my own to the dog vacation facility I visited not so long ago, and will be spending a week some dear old acquaintances, frolicking outside during all the daylight hours, and sleeping soundly in the evening, surrounded by the comforting smells of my weary companions. This will be delightful, though I am always a bit anxious over my people when the are not in sight, and would prefer to guard them always. Now, too, there is the added worry of what will happen to Edgar, and whether there is added danger to him in my absence. I must accept my lot when I cannot change it, and protect all my dear ones as best I can.
One thing which makes these holidays better for me than others is the gift-giving. Woman and Man exchanged early gifts with one another tonight. Woman had gotten Man a terrible device which he had often admired and which he had thought might amuse us both.
It is a helicopter. I am not certain that it amuses me, exactly. I long to catch it and gnash it with my fearsome teeth. This longing fills me up and I bark and leap and watch the helicopter reproachfully. I will own, it is exhilarating to chase the helicopter about and I enjoy seeing Man’s delight as he learns to make the device respond to his commands.
In their joyful anticipation of the holidays and their trip together, Man and Woman did not forget me. How could they? They gave me an early gift as well. They let me unwrap it myself, which I did with alacrity. Then, Man opened the promising container and gave me…a little hot dog (not a canine, never fear, Reader)!
The hot dogs were delicious (and there are more in the refrigerator!). Worn out by the excitement, I lie now, drifting in and out of a peaceful sleep. In my more lucid moments, I can’t help but feel a twinge of guilt that I enjoy these cheerful proceedings while my brother, Edgar, lives a life devoid of these comforts, so far as I can tell. I hope that I shall have the opportunity to share some of my good fortune with him–including the hot dogs. I must go, as I feel sleep coming again, though I almost feel I ought to muster some alarm, as I can see that gleam in Woman’s eye which means that a bath is in my near future. I will worry over these things only when they come, and will lose myself in the warm fog of sleep until I wake–whether to bath, helicopter, treat, or gentle pat.
There was a good deal of laughing and kissing and explaining, in the simple, loving fashion which makes these home festivals so pleasant at the time, so sweet to remember afterward
-Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women