Even though it’s not quite Thanksgiving, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

For just one more day, my kitschy countertop squash and pinecone turkey can hog the limelight.

 

Spoiler alert:  The Christmas creep is real.  Twinkly stars, plastic Santas, canned carols, garlands and wreaths, sales, sales, sales. They’re everywhere, nudging, prodding, poking, elbowing their way in.

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When, exactly, did Santa turn corporate? When did Christmas become the holiday shopping season?

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Like fruitcake, the outcry ‘Christmas comes earlier every year’ is now tradition. As predictable as that is, it still surprises me.

I ‘m not ready for a million gazillion emails from retail giants that pester me to hurry! hurry! shop now! this deal ends today!

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Except for the ones from the John Lewis Partnership. They sell, well, everything. And with smashing success.  JLP is the bees knees, likely because it’s employee-owned. All 88,900 permanent staff are Partners who own 48 John Lewis shops across the UK, 350 Waitrose supermarkets, an online and catalogue business, a production unit, and, yes, even a farm. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn and all partners share in the benefits and profits.

Here’s last year’s ad from Britain’s favorite favourite retailer. So luvvly-jubbly.

This year? It’ll have you jumping for joy.

Yes, the Christmas season officially begins on Friday.  
But first…
Hope your Thanksgiving is absolutely scrummy!

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Toni 11/23/16

Follow Buster the Boxer on Twitter here.

Want to see more JLP adverts? (You know you do.)  Click here.

 

DID SOMEONE SAY #TBT?

Read along with me.

It’s 1953.

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Christmas past.

A wonder, indeed.

Toni 12/17/15

 

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.*

We writers are a curious bunch. Curious about the world. Curious about other people. Curious to hear their stories.

A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.

~Smiley Blanton*

 

 

Right this minute, I’m curious about African artist Raina Mazwiembiri and her Seedpod Birds.

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Her talent is making birds and the seeds they dine on become one.

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Mazwiembiri gives the seed pods twisted wire feet, adds putty beaks, and paints the quirky creatures in resplendent colors and patterns.

 

I just had to know her story.  Seems that Raina’s husband, George, started making seedpod birds to earn extra money.  A few years later, Raina joined him and together they sold their birds at local craft shops and markets. When her husband moved on to other things, Raina took over and now works with two of her daughters.

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The seedpods come from the Ulumbu Tree, the star chestnut (Sterculia rogersii). Raina and her daughters travel seven hours to the Bulawayo area to pick them and then travel back home. The trip typically takes three days. (I’ll be googling that, I bet there’s a lot more to it.)

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I’ve never heard a boring story or met a boring person. When police question neighbors after a crime occurs, often the reply is he’s always been quiet, comes and goes at the same time every day, hardly see the guy. Sounds like he was a boring person but clearly there is something to discover, a story to uncover.

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I’m loving the Owen Canfield holiday stories.  He’s a local man-about-town who writes short pieces about a bike hike or a falling tree, Velveeta cheese or potato pancakes. Trivial items, maybe, but not trivial topics. Everything has meaning, doesn’t it?

 

Every Christmas I reread the stories, poems, and essays in Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book. (It was new in 1977. It’s still new to me every year. Aren’t I lucky?)

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It’s one plum pudding of a book. 200 pages of literary love.  Ogden Nash, Laura Ingalls Wilder, O. Henry, Charles Dickens, Taylor Caldwell, Louisa May Alcott, Langston Hughes,Christopher Morely, Robert Frost,W.H.Auden, Booth Tarkington, Mark Twain, John Milton, William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and of course, Clement Clark Moore ~to name a few~ release small miracles on every page illustrated by Norman Rockwell.

 

 

The book even includes Fannie Farmer’s Menu from 1896 with recipes.

Roast goose with potato stuffing? Consider this:  you need to singe, remove pinfeathers, wash and scrub with hot soapsuds, draw, wash, stuff, and truss before it hits the oven and maybe comes out looking like this.

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Rockwell’s Christmas book is happiness for a crystal-cold night. Serve with a hearty Cab and a couple of crooners.

*Curious about Smiley Blanton?  Me, too.

Toni 12/14/15

*Header quote by Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist