The snow fell quietly outside. Leo the Cat was relaxing on his favorite windowsill, purring. The heater beneath him provided a pleasant warmth.
He closed his eyes and relaxed. It was so pleasant to lie there and watch the flakes drift against the window pane and slowly gather in a pile of soft snow.
Every now and then, Leo would reach out to catch a snowflake and bump his paw against the window pane. He’d pull his paw back in surprise, annoyed that he had been fooled.
Just as he was drifting to sleep, Leo heard the sound of someone unlocking the front door, followed by unusual footsteps on the stairs.
“I wonder who that could be?” thought Leo. The room suddenly smelled like a forest.
He jumped down silently from his windowsill and peered cautiously around the corner and into the hallway.
Leo saw his dad climbing the stairs quite laboriously, dragging a huge fir tree behind him. He was leaving a trail of pine needles and small piles of snow on the ground. Leo knew what this was about!
“Meow! It’s that time of year again. The house is going to be very busy for the next little while!” Leo thought.
While Leo didn’t like the hustle and bustle, he also found the preparations for the celebration exciting. Plus he always had his beloved windowsill to escape to if it got to be too much.
What Leo liked best about this special time of year was the way that it always smelled like freshly baked cookies. Some were even specially made for him with his favorite ingredients. Even though they were all packed in sealed tins until the feast, the whole house smelled of them.
“Yummy!” thought Leo. He couldn’t wait to try one of the cookies. He was so excited!
It was also nice that the whole family was in a good mood this time of year. Leo knew how to use that to his advantage. He could get little treats and even some extra attention if he played his cards right.
And then there was the great secrecy that only existed in the pre-Christmas season. It amused Leo to see his family behave like squirrels in the forest burying their nuts for the winter.
Leo had often observed from his windowsill that many things were done behind closed doors around Christmas.
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