Essay: Captain Midlife Faces Christmas

The older he grows, the harder it gets for Captain Midlife to take this ( season. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's. Five weeks of souped-up revels strung out like dead leaf fires. Not that January is any great shakes either, with its glass-eye skies threatening to shatter; or loony February; or March blowing about one's head like some parent ranting in a never-cleaned-up room. Still, it is this season that gets the Captain down, and up, and down again. Poor Captain Midlife. Can anybody out there lend him a hand?

It is the extremes of the season that get him down,...