In Switzerland the children are visited by Samichlaus, who shows up kind of whenever with a guy dressed in black named Schmutzli. The two of them knock on the door and check their big book of sins before giving the kids a little lecture on good behavior. They have to do penance by reciting a poem and promising to do better before Samichlaus will reach into his bag and hand over fruits and candy. This is secretly something I think about all December.
My flights home were some of the most harrowing yet, the sky thick with towers and pillars of clouds nearly the whole way along. I changed planes in Newark, and had to close the window shade against the unsettling sight of the solid expanse of thick grey clouds that we were sinking into, unable to shake the feeling that they had solidified and we would be trapped there forever. Landing in Seattle, the plane bounced so hard it nearly launched itself back into the sky again.
The perihelion is on the 5th, friends. Best to start baking cakes for the sun now.