1. “After they leave we pounce upon our brother physically and verbally.” 

    2. "We sing all the Christmas songs we know and watch for the rabbits and foxes scudding across the open patches of snow and listen to the drumming of partridge wings. We are never cold." 



    1. "We would like to hug our brother but are too shy with strangers present." 

    2. "We would extend our coldness half a continent away to the Great Lakes of Ontario so that it might hasten the Christmas coming of my oldest brother, Neil." 


    Though provoking/observant 

    1. “It is true that at my age I no longer really believe in him (Santa) yet I have hoped in all his possibilities as fiercely as I can; much in the way, I think, that the drowning man waves desperately to the lights of the passing ship on the high sea’s darkness. For without him, as without the man’s ship, it seems our fragile lives would be so much more desperate.” 

    2. “But then I look at those before me. I look at my parents drawn together before the Christmas tree. My mother has her hand upon my father’s shoulder and he is holding his ever-present handkerchief. I look at my sisters who have crossed the threshold ahead of me and now each day journey farther from the lives they knew as girls. I look at my magic older brother who has come to us this Christmas from half a continent away, bringing everything he has and is. All of them are captured in the tableau of their care.”