Time to pack away the turkey roasters and pumpkins and, if you’re like my family, pull out the 578 bins of Christmas decorations: December is upon us. Ah, December: that month-long foray into complete mayhem consisting of parties, parties and more parties; family gatherings with crazy Aunt Bess who won’t stop asking when you’re *finally* going to settle down; more shopping than you can possibly accomplish in a mere 30 days; and more eating and drinking than any human being should ever attempt. I’m already booked for the next two weeks solid at which time I’ll pack my suitcase once again and head to my most favourite city in the entire universe, New York City, to celebrate my birthday. I’ll be a mad woman traversing the burrough, squeezing in shopping, eating excellent edible material, traipsing the Met, and dancing around to a musical or three (Hair and Next to Normal, here I come!).
Post NYC, I’ll unpack and repack once again to head to Houston for the holidays about which I am quite excited, because nothing says “holidays” like cranking up the A/C on Christmas morning. Jokes.
Before I take off on my jaunts, though, I’m doing some cool things in T.O. this week that I’ll try to recap when I have a free moment, by which I mean during the six hours a night I should be sleeping. All I can say is thanksbeto Steve Jobs for the WordPress iPhone app.
- seeing Thomas Keller speak and having his new Ad Hoc at Home cookbook signed
- Third Tuesday Toronto to see Julien Smith speak (!)
- Junior League Christmas party
- Yelp’s Elite Christmas party that’s Mad Men-themed!
- Going to a Christmas tree farm and cutting down a tree for the very first time! And getting my nog on afterwards.
- An always fabulous iYellow Wine Club event called “Happy Birthday South Africa” at Reds Wine Bar
- Company Christmas party, but, more importantly, the after party.
Clearly, I need a lifestyle manager.
The holidays have officially arrived! This Thursday is US Thanksgiving and, for this American girl, signals the kick-off to the official holiday season and the beginning of the countdown to Christmas. Which, of course, can also mean only one thing — it’s time, once again, to read my most favourite holiday book. What’s that, you ask? Is it “Twas the Night Before Christmas? No. A Christmas Carol, perhaps? Prognosis negative. The classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas? No, although I’m sure all the Who’s down in Who-ville would disagree. Nope — none of those come close, actually.
The book I look forward to reading every single year is David Sedaris‘ Holidays On Ice, his superlatively hilarious tales of working as an elf at Macy’s New York. The ”SantaLand Diaries” first debuted in 1992 as an essay on NPR’s Morning Edition and was so popular that it essentially launched him into stardom. The book contains other stories in addition to the SantaLand Diaries, including my personal favourite ”Dinah, The Christmas Whore”. Every page of this book is so positively hilarious that I usually end up with buckets of tears rolling down my face from laughing so hard. The best part? The book is dedicated to Ira Glass. I’m sure I would be able to think of one or two things that might be better than this pairing if I put my mind to it, but at this particular moment, I cannot. That’s pretty much as good as it gets — David Sedaris and Ira Glass. A Christmas classic, indeed.
While perusing YouTube today, I found an audio clip of Mr. Sedaris reading the audio verison of Holidays On Ice aloud. I’m embedding Part I here for your listening pleasure, so turn on your Christmas lights, grab a cuppa hot chocolate and your snuggie, and prepare your rib cage for some serious chest-shaking guffaws.
1 Shockingly, I found it on sale in hardback at Chapters for $5.99, so for those of you in Canada, fire up your snowmobiles and get over there — pronto!