December is a month often fraught with expectations. Decorating one's abode becomes a stressful obligation, objects become the means of securing connection, and purchasing is the highest form of self expression. It's hard to know how to sort your way through all the merchandise and promotions that flood the malls, the internet and retail emporiums to tempt our senses and empty our wallets for more stuff that nobody really needs. Marketing at its best and worst dominates this season. No wonder we all need to eat and drink in excess to quell the melancholy the holidays so easily inspire.