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     Jake was still cold from the biting wind outside his doorway. As the key grated in the double-lock to his apartment, he hunched over to feel the warmth slowly growing within himself. "Oh, how great it is to have a warm place on Christmas," he cheered to his ears, which strained for the sound of human voices. "Here we are back at home after a hard day's work, and I have a bottle of Christmas wine, and the plum pudding has been soaking in the refrigerator for a week, and this is Christmas Eve, the time for celebration." Time passed quickly until he sat down at the table, spread neatly with new china and polished silverware, topped with two gleaming crystal goblets, one for wine, one for water. After he had cut the chicken into manageable bits, his eyes began to wander about the room, and every so often he forgot to chew as he gazed unseeing off into some clean quiet corner of his bright apartment. "Well, Merry Christmas, Jake," he said to himself, raising his glass to the light so he could see the liquid rubies glowing with transmitted radiance. He sipped and sighed and turned to the tasty dessert waiting for him. After cleaning up, he washed the dishes and settled down to a fabulous evening of TV, which was better than usual because of all the special Christmas Eve programs. Much later, yawning from the length of the day, he unwrapped his new pajamas, his Christmas present to himself, and crawled between his bedclothes. He smiled with joy at the pleasantness of the evening, and stretched wide in the empty bed to feel the cool cleanness of the sheets. "Ah, I'm so happy" he sighed, as tears flowed from the corners of his eyes: "Why, I'm even crying from happiness---I can't think why else I'd be crying."