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What’s that I feel…is that…am I MERRY?

The Vinyl Cafe: A Christmas Collection by Stuart McLean

This time of year usually finds me standing outside a shop, shaking my fist at the tinsel-strewn display inside and lamenting the commercialism of a holiday that seems to come sooner each year. But for some reason, this year I feel downright festive. It could be that I’ve adopted a tradition of my own – shopping primarily online – to help me avoid rabid shoppers and tinny Christmas carols.

Regardless, I’m looking fondly forward to the holidays. Traditions at the Beth house include reading/watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which we’ve done since I was a little girl, so I’m considering getting my mum a collectible copy, because if there’s one joy I take at the holidays, it’s making Mum’s eyes well up with nostalgia. For a similar reason, I’ll be looking for used copies of books she read to me as a child, like Old Black Witch, which is now out-of-print and becoming scarce. It has a recipe for blueberry pancakes in it, which I remember making with my mum when I was about six. I’m also thinking of getting her something both special, and sure to become more valuable – a signed book from one of her favourite authors, like Ian McEwan or Jose Saramago. Sadly, collectible Jane Austen is well beyond my means, but it would be great to see her face.

Christmas morning is generally spent lolling about and listening – often to Christmas music like a holiday jazz CD I made them a few years back, or Vince Guaraldi (think the piano music Snoopy dances to in the Peanuts cartoons). But I recently heard an audio story from Stuart McLean that was hysterically funny, and then discovered that the Vinyl Cafe has a Christmas collection, which would be fun to hear as a family. David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice, one the funnier things I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, is also available in audiobook format.

I’m looking forward to it.

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