1. Speed is on TV. “This isn’t a Christmas movie,” my mom said. No, but I love this movie so much. Once, I recorded bits onto a cassette tape, just so I could listen to it whenever I wanted.

  2. But because it’s Christmas Eve, I put on Victorian Farm Christmas to keep us company as we do the last preparations. I’ve seen it so many times, I can sit down to watch a bit, then wander back to the kitchen. I can watch even through the sound of the vacuum and food processor.

  3. This year, more than most, I’m craving the comfort and familiarity of childhood. Though I don’t eat candy canes, I love my mom’s chocolate fudge with crushed candy canes on top. So I made it last night. I screwed up; I used sweet and condensed milk, not evaporated milk. The result was a hard, crumbly chocolate. So I had to make it again this morning. Perfect.

  4. While my mom works on the sides for dinner (cranberry sauce, purple cabbage, turkey brine), I’m finishing up dessert. What I really wanted this year was banana cream pie. It’s not particularly Christmas-y; it’s just a thing I want. My dad and brother both hate bananas, so it can’t be our showpiece Christmas Day dessert. But I’m making all the parts anyway, and I’ll make up individual tarts for those who want them. Even if it’s just me.