November 1st equals Christmas

There have been a number of Very Sad, Moderately Sad, and Mildly Sad things going on in the Boyhouse and in the world at large this week.  Happily, general Halloween festivities and related sugary and non-sugary joy have cheered me, as well as the fact that as of 11:00 this morning, I have finished my Christmas shopping, aside from a couple of stocking stuffers and teacher gift cards.  I AM FINISHED MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!  Hilariously, as I was leaving the mall, a very flamboyant Bay employee was busily setting up a large Christmas tree, and as he was doing so he was flamboyantly berating his fellow employee for not putting the decorations on with pizazz.  PIZAZZ.  I didn’t realize that word was still in general circulation but nonetheless it cheered me nearly as much as finishing my Christmas shopping prior to the Bay’s Christmas tree being set up.

I am famous in my circle for being an early shopper, mostly because I dislike crowds and the opposite of the Christmas spirit that pervades the mall starting in late November.  I dislike the feeling that someone is going to road ragedly run me over in the parking lot, or that I’m going to witness some kind of murder over a parking spot, or that I’m going to be crushed to death in a stampede at Toys R Us.  I met a very dear friend for coffee a few weeks ago, a friend who I’ve known for 23 years, and she asked me very seriously if I had finished my shopping yet.  “Almost!” I said cheerfully, and she smiled at me like the pathological early bird I am.

But why am I talking about Christmas when we’ve just finished Halloween?  I hope your Halloween was lovely.  We had a grand total of seven trick or treaters, all of whom got handfuls and handfuls of fun-sized M&M’s from me.  My own kids were, as usual, overly indulged as they are the pets of the neighbourhood, the only little kids on our street.  I love our neighbours.  Our doorbell rang at 5:30, and I opened it to find not a trick or treater, but an elderly lady who told me that since she and her husband were going out for the evening, she was dropping off candy for the boys.  Sweet!  In addition to that kindness, the boys went up and down our street and came back loaded with treats – tons of candy, full-sized chocolate bars, big buckets of candy popcorn, and funny treats purchased just for them.  So much kindness!  Also – so many Rockets!  I’ve only snuck one package out of their bags, so I’m congratulating myself on my own inner strength.  Like a rock, I am.

A few of my friends in milder climates posted photos of their children in JUST Halloween costumes, and I stared at those pictures with envy and mild disbelief.  It was minus six degrees here, and kind of snowy.  But what kind of Calgary girl would I be if I didn’t know how to fashion a Halloween costume that incorporates winter wear?


Today, in addition to going to the mall, I went to Wal Mart, which is never particularly fun but is often interesting from a sociological point of view.  I needed a few snack items since I have some girlfriends and their children coming over tomorrow night.  If I stepped back and looked at my cart with someone else’s eyes, I would be judging the hell out of my purchases.  Here’s what I had: Gold Bond hand lotion, three bags of fun-sized Hershey bars, a box of Sleep-Eze pills, a package of Angry Birds bandaids, five “family-sized” bags of assorted potato and tortilla chips, a 2L bottle of Coke Zero, and a double pack of toilet bowl cleaner.  Fortunately I did not see anyone I knew.  I did, however, see a very large man at the pharmacy wearing fleece pajama pants in a Papa Smurf motif, and I swear I have seen that same man, in that same outfit, at that very same pharmacy before. 


  1. That picture is AWESOME. Every Hallowe’en costume I had as a kid incorporated a snowsuit somehow. My own kids haven’t experienced that yet because it’s been freakishly warm in October for the last several years, although last night they were wearing rain suits under their Jedi outfits just in case the Hurricane Sandy downpour started up again.

    Also, I want to come hang out at your house. Your snacks sound like happiness.

  2. Oh, someone brought your kids candy! That is the sweetest.

    Wal mart carts are always like that. That’s why waiting in line at Wal mart is the best. Even better in America where you can have a box of wine in your cart next to your Angry Bird cheezy crackers and sunscreen.

  3. It heartens me no end that it was 4 degrees warmer here. YES! ** insert imaginary fist pump **

  4. “….A box of wine AND A GUN” clara meant to say, right clara? My Halloween costumes were always puffy growing up, but now I live in Ottawa, so Eve just needed a windbreaker with the letters black-hockey-taped out with her biker outfit. Also, I hate crowds and malls too and yet that doesn’t translate to having my christmas shopping done. I think it translates to me going to chapters online and sending everyone a copy of the Oatmeal’s new book, “How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you” or maybe a nice zombie trilogy.

  5. Rachelradiostar says

    I love that your kids are the pets of the neighbourhood!
    I want to go to Walmart.
    It’s cold here, but bikini weather to you. Last night it was all Donna Summer. Ya know. Three Degrees!

  6. Growing u, my Halloween outfits always had to be able to fit something warm underneath. Now I live where my kids’ costumes have to be waterproof because of the rain. I think I prefer the cold.

    A few years ago I decided to do all of my Christmas shopping on line. I haven’t been to a mall within 2 months of Christmas in years and I can’t properly communicate how much better that has made the holidays. Malls = hell generally. Malls during holiday season = sheer, unmitigated, 9th level of hell.

  7. I am mostly done my Christmas shopping! I like to shop ahead too – more because I love Christmas and less because of the murderous people at the mall though now that you point it out, that is certainly a big plus.

  8. Shut. The. FRont. Door.
    It is not Christmas.
    No way.
    And my son only got 3 Rockets. What’s up with that?

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