Yes, it’s that time of year again. With the Remembrance observances out of the way, we have a clear path to Christmas, and the market stalls, shops and mall decked their halls with such alacrity afterwards you would think they were being charged a penalty for each day their customers were bereft of holly wreaths, evergreen sprigs and winter landscapes etched on their display windows in aerosol snow.
Who knows; maybe they were.
But you see, without Thanksgiving to act as a speed bump (with Election Day and Pearl Harbor Day thrown in for good measure) there is nothing to stop Christmas from gaining terminal velocity right from the get-go. I don’t mind so much; there are a lot of things to like about this time of year.
For one thing, it’s a lot cheerier, with festive lights and holiday tableaus all around, and Christmas carols are kind of a nice change from the standard piped in muzak (though eight to ten weeks of it does get to be a bit much).
My one regret lately has been the absence of Slade’s “Here it is, Merry Christmas,” which enjoyed such a popular run for a few years that everyone collectively agreed it should sit out a few games in the penalty box. I think it’s done enough penance, however; it’s a trippy little song, very festive and something I think we could use at this point, but so far, nary a peep from Noddy and the boys.
What continues to makes me very happy at this time of year is the appearance of turkey, bacon, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches in the supermarkets, delis and petrol station forecourt mini-marts. I absolutely love them, but I am glad they are not available at any other time of the year because they make this season so special.
Sad, I know, but in this economic climate you take your joy where you find it.
But I’m not concerned with any of that at this time; I’m still looking forward to Thanksgiving. It sort of snuck up on me this year. We were grocery shopping last night at it occurred to me that it would be the last shopping excursion for us prior to The Day, so we, rather belatedly, began the search for Thanksgiving dinner construction materials. We didn’t find any, unless we wanted to purchase a 20-lb frozen turkey.
This hardly mattered for two reasons: first, we’re both working on Thanksgiving Day, and, second, our freezer is full so we’d never fit a turkey of any size into it this week. And I suppose you could add a third one, being that we weren’t looking for a turkey, anyway; I wanted one of those pre-prepared, turkey/stuffing/gravy combos that I could heat up without going through a lot of fuss. Thanksgiving is nice and all but it’s hardly worth all that trouble to make a holiday dinner for two, especially when one of you doesn’t really “get” it.
But I did need something for the meal, so today my wife and I took a tour of some of the other shops. In Marks and Spencer we found a range of boxed turkey meals, from ones that could serve a dozen down to a dinner for two (no sign of a single-serving holiday dinner; how sad would that be?). So we marked out what to buy, and now it is my duty to return to the store on Friday and buy the meal preparation materials for Saturday.
Of course you know that, when I return, they will be sold out of what I need.