Saturday, November 17, 2012

#129. or, How many sleeps is it?

 Today I bought a candy cane..............

  My very good, bloggy friend Carrie, over at Hammock in the Honeysuckle, is still taking answers for her contest to win fame and riches beyond your wildest imagination. Well, maybe not quite that , but she's still giving away a trip. A freaking trip! So, because I just happen to love going on freaking trips, I'm answering her question again for another chance to win.

  This weeks question is this:

 How do you feel about the holidays this time of year, particularly the ever-melding of ThanksChristgivmasing that is continually being 'pushed' more and more each year?

  OK now, you need to know she asks these questions each Sunday. Last Sunday was November 11th. Remembrance Day. Last Sunday was all about remembering those who gave their lives so we could have the freedoms that we live with now. That's pretty important I think. I'm not particularly fond of having Christmas overlap with Remembrance Day, or Halloween for that matter. Or, getting the Sears Christmas wish book in August or whenever we picked it up and having to hide it in the closet until the season is, ........is...... well, more Christmasy.

  So, I'm a Canadian. I'm not really sure how or why it happened this way, but unlike my American cousins south of the border, we had our Thanksgiving holiday way back in the beginning of October. I'm not going to take the time to google this, but I'd like to think that some time, eons ago, some of my Canadian forefathers,which would have technically been British forefathers at that time, were sitting around freezing their Christmas balls off, mid-November, thinking that if we had Thanksgiving a month and a half earlier, we could enjoy it in relative autumny warmth. And when the middle of November rolled around, we could  move on to  more Christmas season type things, like trying to avoid frostbite while stringing our Christmas lights. Or, if this Thanksgiving time warp thing happened well before the advent of electricity and holiday lighting, you could spend the time doing important things, like gathering win-ter  fu-ooo--el!

  Remembrance day was 6 days ago. I wasn't ready to start thinking about Christmas just then. But that was in fact 6 whole days ago. I've been taking note of the Christmas displays in the store windows. There's a flicker of holiday spirit starting to grow inside of me now. I'm starting to think about untangling my mile of extension cords, and about starting to drag out my yard decorations. For the first time in my life we have a bag of chestnuts. I'm going  to eat holiday chestnuts! I hope they're not gross? It's time to dust off that wish book and start looking through the toy section. (yes, that's still the first section I go to every year.) And I need to check the liquor cabinet to make sure we have spiced rum to put in the eggnog.

  I had to run to town to pick some stuff up today, and by the check-out till, there was a pail of candy canes. The traditional ones with the green stripe in them. Today I bought a candy cane.......

   ............in fact, I bought four of them. And on the way home, I found the, all Christmas music, station on the radio and as luck would have it, White Christmas came on. Me and Bing belted out that sucker like it was nobody's business.


29 comments:

  1. Traditional candy canes have a green stripe on them? Not around here where they're red and white. I wonder if they taste different.

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    1. That may have been a tad confusing. They're still the red and white ones, but my favorite also have a green stripe wrapped in with the red and white.

      Plain old peppermint. None of those fancy flavours :)

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  2. I can no longer stomach just plain 'ol peppermint anything :( Played a drinking game way back in high school and the only thing we could find to steal to drink was peppermint schnaps yep drinking liquor quickly in a drinking game will make you sick regardless but the sweet taste of peppermint has never left me and how it burned for days coming back up :)
    We buy flavored. happy Holidays Ken and good luck with the cords :]

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    1. Hey, Hey J,

      You're supposed to get right back up on that peppermint horse.....or something like that?

      We have the root beer and the blueberry and other flavours in our house too. I just get a little warm and nostalgic, whenever I come across the only ones that were available when I was a kid.

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  3. A few weeks ago, I saw a meme that had a pic of Santa looking annoyed. It said: calm the f*^k down. It's only Halloween.
    People like you, Ken, are ticking Santa off, what with your premature candy cane purchases...

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    1. Hi Dawn,

      Maybe I am? Yet we won't put up the tree or anything until at least a week into December. I'm probably going to start on the yard though. The forecast is for the upcoming week to be 10 to 15 degrees colder than it was the previous one. There's something about not being able to feel my fingers or toes that puts me in the holiday mood?

      I'm certain Santa understands, living at the North Pole and all? :)

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  4. I personally won't put up any Christmas decorations until after American Thanksgiving, but I never care if people do it before then. When you don't have Thanksgiving to worry about, then I don't blame you for starting to get in the mood early.

    Chestnuts are not yummy. At least the ones I had weren't. We have this historical village in Michigan, where everything is from the past, and I went there last year for their Christmas nights event. They were selling steaming, roasted chestnuts and I was so excited to try them...but they turned out to be really mealy tasting. Maybe it was just a bad batch, though?

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    1. Hi Kianwi!

      I understand not wanting to overlap holidays. Especially Thanksgiving. For the most part, I've been trying to ignore anything in the Christmas theme, up in stores and things until now. But with the evenings getting darker earlier, and the odd house turning up with holiday lighting on, it's starting to warm up that Christmas spark in my heart. My calendar is clear of holidays straight through to Christmas, so I might as well begin to prepare.

      Oh dear! All this time I've been having this romantic notion of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and how wonderful it would be to live, just a little bit, in a Christmas song. And you're telling me they're yucky! Damn!

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    2. Yes, they are gross Ken,so just try one and don't buy a bunch until you know you like them.



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  5. I always like to relish Thanksgiving first (my fav holiday) before even putting a minute of thought into Christmas. That said, I happened to be at Costco and bought books as gifts which s early for me and almost bought some peppermint bark. I actually did feel a smidgen of spirit. I know it's on the station but I'm not ready for the music quite yet. Hope you win the freaking trip!

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    1. Thanks Gina :)

      You know what? You just made me so happy saying that you bought some books as Christmas gifts.

      I know when I was a kid, they were some of the last things that I wanted to see under the tree. (besides socks) Just the other day, my wife and I were strolling that row of books at Costco and I pointed out a whole handful of ones that I'd be more than happy to receive as gifts. It's funny how we change. My library is very small. In fact, most people wouldn't actually call it a library. But I'm pretty proud of the varied selection of books that I have to display. :)

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  6. I don't know why, since both me and the husband are not particularity into Christmas, that this year I keep feeling all nostalgic for it. I even caught myself pricing Christmas trees. OH GOD WHAT HAVE I BECOME? Ahem. I'm fine. Nothing is wrong. Carry on.

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    1. Hi Holly,

      I hope your power is back on?

      I think you need to put on some Christmas music, sit back and have a couple of vodka and coco's and let the spirit of Christmas wash over you.

      From the pictures that you posted, your yard is already frosty and white, so you're part way there already. :)

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  7. We put up our front yard Xmas display yesterday while it was mild. Don't want to be doing that at -20. But we don't turn the lights on until Dec 1st.

    And of course by "we," I mean "My Rare One." I had no hand in the labour. I was out Xmas shopping on Whyte Ave.

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    1. Hi Debra,

      I've had to do it so many times at -20, that somehow it just doesn't feel quite right if I'm not freezing to death when I'm putting up our stuff.

      I have a question, would you recommend a Christmasy stroll on Whyte Ave with my wife? I've often thought about doing that, but have yet to make the time.

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  8. Ken, my friend...
    I love that you mentioned the Sears Wish Book. You heralded back one of my childhood memories! I remember stretching out across that gold shag carpet and dog-earing pages, and making lists of all the things I knew I wouldn't get but I could wish anyway. I loved the Wish Book!

    You know what - I can see that it is quite different that your tuning into the Christmas spirit is sparking now because you DID have your Thanksgiving so much earlier. Ours just happens to be just shy of a month from Christmas and down here the big retail boxes can't WAIT to start throwing ads and commercials at you to come by the latest Chinese made crap. I am over commercialism. Over it! Yet, I have a confession to make - while I am usually a staunch 'wait until the day after to ring in the Christmas music', I actually did listen to some Christmas tunes the other day. I was in my office trolling You Tube for something work-related, and then came across a song by one of my favorite groups, and then saw that they had done an Advent album (what?!) so I started playing their Christmas music and was blasting them in my office. I loved it.

    There. So I'm not so stuck in my thinking - I always have room to rethink things. As always, I am a walking contradiction.

    BTW, what is your favorite Christmas song?

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    1. Hello, my friend!

      I agree with you on the commercialism and how this all starts way too early. If we had Thanksgiving holidays that matched dates, I'm certain that I wouldn't be all that eager to let the Christmas holiday spirit seep into me just yet either.

      Ever since I've became an adult. Or of adult age, rather, I've always wanted to try to recreate the magical feeling that Christmas gave me when I was, that kid, standing in awe, in front of the tree, Christmas morning. So I do up my yard, and yes, I have inflatable things and miles, it seems, of light strings and displays. I want people to drive by my house and stop and take a look or bring their kids past, out of the way on a drive, just to look at what we've done and maybe get a bit of spirit themselves.

      I don't know if it works, but I try anyways.

      If you have time one day, go back and read my 3rd post. It sort of tells the tale of when I lost the "magic".

      My favorite Christmas song? Golly!

      I'm not sure that I have a favorite, but when I walk outside, on a cold Christmas winter night. So cold that the snow crunches under your feet. And it's clear out. So clear that it's one of those nights that you can see every star there is to be seen, and they twinkle just a little bit brighter because of it, the song that always plays in my head is We Three Kings, by Blackhawk. That one is way up there on the list.

      http://youtu.be/vMtDCBL_l54 (I'm not sure if this link is going to work or not?)

      I've also become fond of the Christmas songs by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. They have a lot of music in our Chrismas itunes playlist that we listen to in our house over the holidays.

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    2. OH! And this!It came out last year and makes me feel all patriotic. :)

      http://youtu.be/IrNcD34KFhM

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    3. I couldn't get the links to work but am listening to the Blackhawk version now. That would be lovely on a cold night under a canopy of stars.

      Guess what I had while driving over to help at the Good Gifts warehouse today? A candy cane with the green stripe. :)

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  9. I am very lazy when it comes to Christmas decorating. Hate candy canes...sorry candy cane eater people. But, if I HAD to eat a candy cane, I would go with the green one too:)

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    1. You don't need to be sorry, some people like candy canes, some don't. :)

      One of my favorite Christmas memories is a big bowl of hard Christmas candies at my Grandmothers house. The different colours and pattern always stuck in my mind.

      The candies and a big bowl of nuts and nut crackers and various picks.

      Those are good memories. :)

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  10. Frozen balls?! Ouch. As for too soon, the Christmas marketing machine just seems to much like a giant steamroller to me to even begin to fight against. I buy the candy-canes too.

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    1. As much as I'm not all that fond of the Christmas marketing machine getting going so early, I don't suspect that there's much to be done about it. I just chose a time that I start letting it in and go with that. For the most part, it seems to work well enough?

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  11. Your posts are so enjoyable. Thanks! I am curious about Canadian Thanksgiving now. I chuckled at your thoughts regarding its timing; certainly makes sense!
    I remember the hard Christmas candies! While the little Christmas candies stuck in your mind, they stuck in my throat! I would sneak them, but inevitably choked on them. My Grampy would save me, then scold me...which just made me want them more!
    Merry Memories!

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    1. Thanks so much!

      It's funny all the little things that I've forgotten, that once I start thinking about it, they come back as favorite memories. Chip dip in colored aluminum containers is another memory. We would only get it at Christmas time which made it extra special. :)

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  12. Replies
    1. You don't have the tiniest bit of Christmas cheer in you Dan? Perhaps an old memory that puts you in the spirit of Christmas?

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  13. Great post. I agree about not having Thanksgiving in the snow. It's an end of harvest thing, not an Xmas feast in the snow thing. Much better how we do it.

    You'll get a few sulphurous chestnuts, but the nice ones are like slightly sweet, firm potato. Very nice to share them outside in the freezing evening, from a paper bag, almost too hot to eat, with mulled wine or hot apple cider.

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