I looked at my Croton this morning and found tiny buds growing on the stems. For a while, I was worried the plant may be dead, but it is not.
The Croton needs to be watered every five days, at least according to the man at the Plant Warehouse. When I left for Christmas, I put it out on the fire escape; it is the rainy season here and I figured it could live off rainwater while I was gone.
While it did get watered, it was the wind that was the problem. Upon my return, I discovered the plant had blown over. All the leaves on one side of the plant had fallen off and the remaining leaves didn't look too healthy. I moved it back to my south window and hoped for the best.
I also bought a new "roll-up" plant. At night, its leaves will roll up into little spirals, and then, in the morning, they unroll. If I am out of bed before all the leaves are finished unrolling, that is good enough -- and if the day is so gloomy the leaves never unroll, I likely should have stayed in bed..