It’s Officially Christmas Season

It is Tuesday, September 13, 2005, and the Christmas season has officially begun. How do I know this? (Click the photo to enlarge, or just go out to your own mailbox.)

Today I retrieved the mail to find Christmas catalogs from both L. L. Bean and eToys. :: sigh ::

I remember countless years of devouring the Sears Wish Book, whose arrival announced the official commencement of the blessed season of unrestrained Commercialism. Today my own dreams of childhood (I once requested a Lego set costing $50) pale next to $179 pogo sticks promising 6 feet of “air” (no kidding!) and $300+ game systems. (Of course we all know the top item on most lists will be the $399 Xbox 360 model that includes backward conpatibility with the existing Xbox.)

8 Replies to “It’s Officially Christmas Season”

  1. I remember being really excited about getting a $5 plastic machine gun for Christmas.
    :: Sigh ::
    Oh for the good old days, where we acted out violence with our friends, not just played it on a TV.

  2. I wish we had an award for “Most Consistently Funny Commentor.” I’d definitely nominate you, Mike.

    Speaking of funny, one of my favorite Christmases was one I spent with your folks when I was in college. I still smile when I remember receiving the homemade “teflon jelly.”

  3. Ok….what the heck is teflon jelly? And why didn’t I ever get any? (listen closely to the sound of older sister whining…lol)

  4. I remember the year the women who worked in the office with my Mom chipped in so that I could have a $20 doll. That was really something then! (You could put curlers in her hair!) Mostly I got small, easily breakable toys and candy, or my Mom would “recycle” something of hers. My Nana was great. She used to knit and crochet outfits for my “fashion” doll (it wasn’t a true Barbie – think what it would be worth now if it had been!) Barbie, and the knock-offs, came out when I was around 10 or 11, the last year I ever got a doll. Someone gave one to Beth when she was little, but she had absolutely no interest in it (which pleased me at the time). She had baby dolls and then went straight to raising sheep at age 9. (They WERE a bit difficult to wrap. 😉

  5. Ah yes, the teflon jelly…it’s still in my cupboard and if you want it, I’ll wrap and ship it, Martha. It happened like this. I had made a couple of apple pies and froze enough apples for a couple of more. Being a frugal NE type, I boiled and strained the cores and peels and was boiling them down for jelly. I had supper and was sitting in the living room with a cup of herb tea when I thought, “The smell of that pie sure lingers!” A half hour later when the smell was stronger yet, I remembered that I’d forgotten the jelly. It had boiled down to a deep brown and had burnt so badly that the teflon came off the pan. I poured one jar of it, then realized it was probably toxic waste. that one jar got handed out for years as a joke. Now, at least fifteen years later, it still sits, unchanged in the corner of my cupboard. I’ve made hundreds of jars of lovely jelly and jam, but everyone remembers the teflon!

  6. Mom,
    You forgot to mention that after you poured the jar full, you poured the rest into a pie pan. After awhile, it solidified into a dark glass frisbee, which was lots of fun to play with. I don’t seem to remember it ever breaking. Maybe you should contact NASA about using your formula to make heat-shield tiles.

  7. Although the Moller SkyCar is the only thing that really interested me, some of these things would be good arguments (like the entire SkyMall catalog) that Americans have way too much money.

    Gas prices high? Try an eco-friendly, $3.5 mln Skycar

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – If that Hummer is draining your cash at the gas pump, Neiman Marcus Group Inc. has the perfect holiday gift: A fuel-efficient, $3.5 million “Skycar” that flies 350 miles per hour and burns environmentally friendly alcohol.
    The luxury retailer’s annual Christmas Book of gifts for the rich and richer shows no signs of scaling back in times of economic strain — although there are a few stocking stuffers such as a $15 paperweight for those on a tighter budget.

    The M400 Skycar prototype is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that gets 21 miles per gallon and is designed to be “as safe, affordable and easy to use as an automobile.

    “A limited number of M400s is expected to be available within the next three years, but you can purchase the actual prototype for yourself or your favorite commuter now,” Neiman Marcus said in the catalog.

    Delivery is not included.

    Buyers must clear regulatory requirements, including International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Federal Aviation Administration authorization.

    For those who can’t get clearance, there is always the private Elton John concert. For $1.5 million, you and 500 close friends can enjoy an intimate piano concert while helping a good cause—the money goes to John’s AIDS foundation.

    Sports fans can opt for the $65,000 IndyCar race simulator. For an extra $10,000, they will throw in a “race hospitality package” for the famed Indianapolis 500, including pit access, four nights’ hotel and autographed merchandise. Act fast — only five hospitality packages are available.

    There is also a jewelry collection for $1.2 million, and a “levitating sculpture” that uses an invisible magnetic wave to suspend an oval-shaped aluminum sculpture with no visible means of support. The sculpture comes in a 6-foot limited edition for $90,000, or a 16-inch version for just $18,000.

    For the environmentalist who can’t afford a Skycar, Neiman Marcus offers a special-edition 2007 Lexus GS 450h luxury hybrid sedan for $65,000. Only 75 will be made, with exclusive Crystalline Ice exterior paint.

    Don’t procrastinate. The retailer said the limited-edition cars—as well as many other items featured in its Christmas catalog—have sold out every year since 1995. Cars tend to sell quickly, often in the first 24 hours.

    The Christmas Book, first published in 1926, will be mailed to some 2 million households worldwide this week.

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