Just the other day, dear readers, I made an unsuspecting trip to Wal-Mart. I try to avoid this as much as possible, but the simple truth is...I have a candle problem. I love candles. They are bright. They are warm. They give off a pleasant aroma (provided one has not done something foolish and purchased a "sandlewood" or "rose petal" candle. Ewuck). Candles aside, once at the Wal-mart I noticed several strange things.
Why did those deer decorations all have their early autumn antlers, when the snow in the picture clearly indicated a winter scene?
Who was that strange portly man wearing his red pajamas, and why was he breaking and entering via that families chimney?
And why the hell was that snowman riding a sled and advertising Hershey's Cocoa?
And then it struck me with all the force with which that portly, snowy hair fellow was going to hit that family's smoldering Yule log.
Which, because this was a Wal-Mart, means of course that Thanksgiving, while in the offing, had not yet occurred.
Now I knew that Thanksgiving was coming. My house gets poor cell phone reception, but it's not a cave. Charles and I even have invitations to one of our wonderful co-workers homes. So we get turkey AND I plan to make my famous (or soon-to-be-famous) cranberry sauce. But it didn't really sink in until I saw all those reindeer frolicking ambitiously around the Wal-Mart.
I pretend (roughly about 335 days of the year) to be an even keeled, level headed individual. I like to pride myself on my good values, as I turn my nose up at commercialism and crunch my granola. I throw around words like "Global Citizen" , and publicly denounce coffee shop chains in favor of local variety, featuring all juice smoothie blends and Yerba Mate (although lets not get hasty about those Starbucks frappuccinos). But Christmas always brings out the Norman Rockwell loving five year old in me. Probably this is because my own childhood Christmases (Christmasii?) were so good.
Luckily, during that trip to Wal-Mart I was able to keep it together. I may or may not have purchased a gingerbread scented candle of somewhat unnecessary size. And I definitely bought the Hershey's cocoa, but it was on sale for 2.50 so how could I not? But on the whole, I remained clear in my purpose.
That was some few days ago, and I am remaining calm, but I can sense the tide turning towards the holidays. The choir kids, whose practice room is next to mine, are singing "It's Christmas Charlie Brown", the stores are putting up their Christmas displays. And its becoming more difficult to turn on the radio and avoid the holiday station. Most importantly, in less than a month I will be home. With all you wonderful people. Which is, of course, what makes the holiday season great.
Well partly the food. But mostly the people.