Behind the door, on which hangs a wreath wound from Springwood White, the Little family is preparing. They have hung Little stockings above the Little hearth; they have dusted the hallway in essence of snow and draped the bannister, spiralling a good 30 inches into the rafters, with recollections of holly. Mrs Little has carefully pinned spectre of mistletoe to every lintel.

For years you have watched through the window, stooping to see them pull Little crackers across the Little table. Only now you are a teenager, believing a Little less, and they seem a Little further from you, somehow.

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