Have you noticed something in the last two weeks? Halloween was the biggest holiday last year, but it's been usurped, again. Forget American Thanksgiving. Canadian retailers have switched straight to holiday mode, and it seems to have been happening for at least a month!
I, for one, am not ready. I love the gingerbread latte (half-sweet, please) at Starbucks. Is it really time to bring it out, though, with its mocha peppermint cousin, and replace the pumpkin spice? These drinks are going to be going until February, at least. Christmas music and holiday tables popped up at Pottery Barn Kids too, I noticed, as I looked for a last-minute Halloween costume for my son last week.
"We're 130 days into Halloween," the salesman sniffed, as I stood there wide-jawed at his chutzpah. Me, the mother of a Halloween baby, forget that? Hrmph. Instead I perused the sale tables and marveled at the stocking stuffers already picked through. $45 hand-stitched embroidered stockings beckoned.
I do like Christmas. Love is not to be used here. Holiday-time in general is a wonderful, mellifluous, pleasingly heartfelt time in Toronto.
It's nice to listen to Christmas music and walk through Nathan Phillips square, watching the unveiling of the 30-foot spruce tree. This year, before it was put up, Cyclone Sandy pushed it down. There's a sign that it's too early to celebrate.
I love seeing the clever, extravagant window displays at Holt Renfrew and The Bay's flagship Queen Street store. But the heat's on too high already, and it just got cold today. Today!
The food bank had record numbers asking for food this year, and a recent article in the Toronto Star reminded me that Canada's food bank was a short-term measure put in place by the federal government in the 1980's, as a safeguard for the population during that recession.
Halloween is my son's birthday. It's exhausting, and the party's not over yet.
Let's wait a little while till Christmas. Then let's do a Secret Santa, everybody, because we're in a recession, and we really don't need any more debt. Let's bake up some delicious treats and make some gifts and trade babysitting services.
I would dig that. Then maybe I would have be able to scrounge up enough change for a Christmas latte, or two.
Until then, turn the heat up if your power's working after the big storm. Unpack your parkas and look for winter boot sales for the kids. Volunteer at the food bank, or your kid's school. Show your fellow Canadians the reason for the next season.
It's fall, after all, and almost winter.
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