Christmas parties at work. Always held during the day. I lift my head from my desk, shuffle to the lunch room, punch out.

No booze, no music. A potluck. This close to Thanksgiving in a soup kitchen. The owner of the company is a well-known philanthropist and a lesser-known miser.

The meal's adequate. Warm soda floating in the ice of a wet cooler. Outside, the rain falls. The ground's as soggy as the bread slices set beside the ranch dressing.

Merry Christmas. Back to work. I see Caesar in the hall and thank him for his salad.

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Leaves golden and red. A New York fall is among us. Chill to the air and inevitably the snow will be coming soon. Rushing to stores for turkey and stuffing, then rushing to the store for last minute gifts for loved ones. The red and gold leaves change to red and gold Christmas ornaments. The colors of fall and the colors of winter.

Holidays in New York are unlike any other anywhere. Snow blowing, chilly air, hustling, bustling, rushing, racing. Decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving night, playing music, eating leftover turkey while baking cookies. The movie 'Elf' on in the...

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