Christmas may not begin until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Period.
I already vented some spleen over this in October, so indeed this is neither new nor perhaps very interesting. And besides, in Paris most merchants have had their decorations up since Armistice Day.
But in the concrete, in the here and now, it means mostly that it is open season on Christmas music. Coffee and toast in the morning with Louis Armstrong's version of "The Night Before Christmas" ("This is Louis Satchmo Armstrong talking to all the keeeeds, from all over the woooooorld.") I go for more consecutive rounds of Al Hirt and Ann-Margret's duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" than I am entirely comfortable admitting.
Not quite a rule, but a request: Christmas colors are green, red, white, gold, and perhaps blue. Not pink (is it me, or am I channeling Andy Rooney suddenly?), and definitely not orange. Which is why the photo at left might suprise you a little bit.
It was not taken in Miami, nor in Scottsdale. But on the Boulevard Haussman. The "concept" Christmas at Au Printemps left me a little cold. I can just see the design genius who dreamt this one up, waving his hands at the meeting, "Tout à l'Orange! Tout à l'Orange!"
I bet the sketches looked great. But back in the real world, said "or-ahnze," when combined with the store's signature turquoise, takes things in a very different direction. Very "Tout à la Howard Johnson's!"
I find myself, oddly, craving clam chowder....