It’s January in winter, people. Quite a few of us are coming down off a holiday food high. Santa stashed homemade fruitcake in my stocking, which I love so keep the jokes about rum-soaked bricks to yourself.

Once upon a time I designed displays for a middling-upscale retail chain. January meant that Godiva chocolates were half-price and my to-do list said I had to dismember sequin- and ribbon-attired mannequins in order to slip bikinis and tropical print sarongs and shorts on their Barbie-and-Ken bodies. Funny; the chocolates disappeared by mid-January. We didn’t sell off the beach attire until it was on the Memorial Day bargain basement rack.

During the winter or in (January in Ohio) cold climates, eating more not only keeps you warm but also can keep you happy. Sure, you burn more fat and calories and can exercise longer when you do so in warm temperatures. But thanks to a 2014 study in the journal “Cell Metabolism”, shivering is being examined as a potential weight loss therapy. How beautiful is that? Bundle up (but not too much) and take a brisk walk in the Putnam County windswept plains, then stop at Henry’s for a slice of fortifying pie. Rinse with hot coffee and repeat. Or you could spend several hundred bucks to sweat on a crowded beach with no pie because you are wearing a swimsuit in public.

One morning, I watched a donkey sidle up to two llamas. I laughed when the tallest llama spit repeatedly at the donkey. Donkey kept coming, ducking and weaving to miss each juicy wad, his eyes focused on the llamas’ bin of grassy hay. Later in the day, all three were politely sharing the donkey’s hay stash. There was apparently enough for everyone. Of course, animals have simpler needs than us people. We’re different in that we need more stuff to survive, necessities like macchiatos and cruisewear.

Do we? Do we really?