The conservatory was warm, and humid, and it took several minutes for the lens on my camera to clear. My glasses, too. Almost immediately, I felt my skin dampen beneath my winter coat. The coat, plaid and woolen, was perfect for outside. But inside, in a balmy, bright paradise, it was suffocating. I wore it nonetheless, and never bothered to unbutton it as I strolled past orchids, palms, air plants, and poinsettias. The conservatory was bedecked with red and white lights, the strands weaving through shrubs and flowers, and up and up and up the trunks of trees. An older man sat in a chair near the waterfall, monotonously watching the koi and nodding off. A young dark-haired woman sat on a bench near yet another pond, scribbling in a black leather journal. There were a few children among the plants, pointing and yelling, "Look! Look! Look!" Most, though, were in the conservatory's front room, where a tall tree and hundreds of poinsettias were arranged with frosted delicacy. Here, the children pointed at small trains and tiny villages, candy canes and elegantly wrapped gifts. I wished for their innocence and eagerness, and reached into my pocket, searching for a peppermint to calm my nostalgia. I found but a cough drop and, shrugging, unwrapped it anyway. 'Tis the season.