The Editor’s Desk: ‘Tis almost the season

Get ready for the onslaught of Christmas music, decorations, lights, and more

We’re getting close to Christmas, and I have a few questions. Ah, welcome back, my curious friend! I’ve missed you!

Really? I’m going to plead the Fifth on that question.

Okay. Before we get into holiday stuff, a question about leaves. I suspect you appreciated the article a few weeks back saying you didn’t necessarily have to rake your leaves.

I certainly did. However, the article mentioned you might get stink-eye from the neighbours, and I’m getting that from mine. I’m sorry to hear that. Are they the type who keep their yard and garden immaculate?

Yes. Even though they don’t have any trees in their yard, they’re out there raking leaves as soon as a few hit the grass. Since they don’t have any trees, could the leaves in question be coming from your trees and/or yard?

Come to think of it, yes. That probably explains the stink-eye.

What can I do? Cut down your trees. If that’s too drastic, an abject apology is in order.

How abject an apology? Very.

Got it. Okay, Christmas lights and decorations. When can they safely be put up? The answer varies from person to person. Some say not until after Halloween; some say not until after Remembrance Day; a few say not until after the Grey Cup; and others say not until Dec. 1, so it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. However, since three of these four milestones are now behind us, and Dec. 1 isn’t far off, you’re probably safe to go ahead.

I’ve seen quite a few neighbours out there installing lights and decorations for the last month. That’s probably because they didn’t want to spend time outside in frigid weather installing the d*mn things while they risked frostbite, so got a head start on preparations.

Is there a hot new trend in outdoor lights/decorations this year? Hard to say. From the limited sample size I’ve been able to assess so far, I’d say that projected patterns on the front of your house are still going strong.

Before I invest, do you think they’ll go the way of icicle lights; hot one year, finished the next? I don’t know. They do have several advantages over icicle lights, however: they’re faster and easier to set up, don’t cost as much, and don’t mean spending time outside in frigid weather installing the d*mn things while you risk frostbite.

When can one start playing Christmas music? That depends.

On what? How the rest of the people in your house feel about Christmas music.

What if someone loves Christmas music? Moderation is a great thing. No matter how much you might love Christmas music, if you start playing it too early and too often, you will want to commit an indictable offence when you hear “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” yet again and realize there are still two more weeks to go until we’ll know if it will be a white Christmas or not.

But the stores have been playing Christmas music for weeks! Indeed they have. I guarantee that the employees of those stores are about ready to commit an indictable offence because of that, so for your sake, don’t be the customer who says brightly to the cashier “It didn’t scan, so it must be free!” unless you want to know what it’s like to have your windpipe crushed.

I took your advice from last year, and have booked Christmas dinner in a restaurant for this year, to avoid awkward situations. Good for you! What was the reaction?

Surprisingly positive. The only thing is that the restaurant has been playing Christmas music non-stop since mid-November, and will continue through Christmas Day, and I don’t know if I can take it. Grit it out, and comfort yourself by knowing that once you make it through dinner, you won’t have to hear—or care—about whether or not it will be a white Christmas for another 366 days.

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