The holidays are here, with their intricate blessings and woes. There are presents to buy, visits to plan, cards to send and meals to prepare, at least for those who are so inclined. Those who are not may spend as much time resisting the blandishments of the season as others spend giving in to them, but either way few escape the Holiday Time Machine. Some of us board at Thanksgiving while others hold out till Hanukkah or Christmas Eve, but sooner or later most of us enter that quiet room where all the walls are windows. Looking through them at long-gone scenes so fresh we can still pick the smells out of the air, we may suspect that time is a trick we play on ourselves, to fool us into thinking the past is over.