This year is a very odd Christmas for there are no signs of such. This is the first year we’ve not decorated – no time to do so. Yesterday was sunny in the 70s. The only things to suggest such are the lousy holiday tunes at the office and the neighbor’s yards decorated with inflatable snowmen. It might as well be spring.

This all changes next week when we fly to Michigan, Land of Perpetual Snow and Ice. Then we get instant Christmas just add water – or snow rather. Brother #3 tells me the skies are gray and there is no lack of the white stuff. Mother has the house fully decorated for Spo-ho-ho-hoing (how jolly). I am promised a plethora of proper Christmas treats (no rubbish) and a fireplace fire.

sugar-plums-1This year out of whimsy I purchased a crate of real honest-to-goodness sugar plums. Has anyone ever had one? They will be a “first” for me. I hope they are good; sugar plums are outrageously priced and imported from Portugal. The sweet talking saleslady at Zingerman’s (the dears!) schnockered me into a sale of gouda made from proper organic goats. I am looking forward to this imperial tid-bit more than the sugar plums. These items may be an expensive example of ‘pearls before swine’ as my niblings are more inclined to nasty chips and Cheesy-poofs  (of which they’ll have plenty). But what the hell, we live once.

Someone and I recently tried to send to Canada a birthday basket full of imperial tid-bits capturing the Ur-text of The Southwest. Alas, acrimonious Canadian customs thwarted a timely arrival of said prize. We diverted the parcel to my parents. I realize the mistake:  neither eat salsa nor are they interested in prickly pear jams. I may have to sacrifice my share of the goat gouda and sugar plums and eat the basket myself. I am OK with the hot sauce but I may pass on the scorpion lollipops.

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