I finally threw out my pumpkin, and now it’s time to buy a Christmas Tree
By David Perloff
(Published in the December 2010 issue)
If the crew at Starbucks hadn’t just changed their apron colors, I might not even have known to do that. Sure, it rains once in a while and gets dark at like 3 p.m., but it doesn’t really look or feel or sound very Christmas-y around here.
Not that being brought up Jewish-ish makes me the arbiter of yuletide cheer, it’s just that I spent my early years in Philly, where the weather sucks in intervals, so I always knew when ‘twas the season. First the leaves fell, then my brother and I raked them. Then it snowed, and we shoveled. In spring, we mowed. Ahhh...summertime in South Jersey-that just plain sucked.
I like to visit the weather, and then I like to get back to San Diego tout de suite. When I get a hankering for the sights and sounds of Christmas, I head to the mall, where sparkling lights, jingling bells and beeping cash registers have set the mood since the day after Halloween. And when the carolers start in, I’m outta there. I mean, I’m no Scrooge, but seriously-can you please keep your fa-la-la to yourself? I’m trying to buy my uncle an automatic-waterproof umbrella-radio at Brookstone over here! (Oh, sorry, a little Jersey might have slipped out there.)
Simone and I decorated a potted palm as a Christmas tree last year, and that worked out pretty well. It’s still growing in the backyard. Folks have asked me about Chanukah bushes, but, to my knowledge, they don’t really exist outside of Hallmark cards. The only Jewish celebration that could be said to have anything to do with bush is probably the Bar Mitzvah (Google: “Today, I am a man”), but I’m no expert.
For anyone smart enough to stay here in paradise this season, congratulations. This Finest City carol is for you.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
Twelve Drummers Drumming: Forget about twelve-there will be dozens of drummers keeping the beat at the annual Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March on December 21. If you like the movie Drumline, you’ll love this event, even if you hate Nick Cannon (still Mariah Carey’s husband, believe it or not). Boom shaka laka!
Eleven Pipers Piping: This is actually happening in Ocean Beach as we speak. Stoners may have been too busy buying Cheetos to vote Prop. 19 into law, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped making glass pipes to sell at The Black, the neighborhood’s legendary smoke shop.
Ten Lords a-Leaping: Hmm...kinda sounds like Hillcrest. If you want to feel pure holiday spirit, check out the December 1 Tree of Life ceremony in Hillcrest Village, where a candlelight vigil commemorating World AIDS Day will be followed by a performance by the San Diego Gay Men’s Choir. They may not leap, but, man, can they sing.
Nine Ladies Dancing: Sure, you can find a pride of cougars on the prowl north of The 52 from time to time, but your best bet on this one is definitely Downtown, PB or North Park. CAUTION: An all-you-can-eat-wings special might mean a full staff of dancers at the local strip joints, but don’t count on seeing the A Team on center-stage on Christmas Day.
Eight Maids a-Milking: I’m pretty sure you can milk a cow in Ramona. I know they have horses, anyway. There might even be a Home Depot. I kid Ramona. They’ve never heard of this magazine, though, so it doesn’t really have an impact. Giddyup!
Seven Swans a-Swimming: Swans have been spotted (and swatted) in the reflecting pool by the Botanical Building in Balboa Park, but the main attraction there this month is December Nights, when participating museums let everyone in free for two days (December 3 and 4).
Six Geese a-Laying: You know, I can understand the Five Golden Rings, but what is it with all the damn birds in this song? Seriously-seven swans, six geese (all laying), four calling birds, three French hens two turtle doves and a partridge. That’s 23 friggin’ birds...and not one turkey. Poultry must have been like iPods back in the middle ages, because if I put this crap under a tree (or a bush) at my house, “My true love” is not the term my wife would use.
David Perloff, Editor in Chief