Sunday, December 20, 2020

While much of yesterday was occupied by a run for supplies and a period of recovery from the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, we still managed to address the list of potential celebrations. Oatmeal muffins were eliminated from the menu, as we didn’t have any on hand and we aren’t big enough fans to track them down. We’ve got a weird little lockdown going on right now, with only 15% of a store’s capacity allowed through the door at a time. This means our favourite bakery will be lined up around the block. That runs counter to not only the Christmas spirit, but also the general celebratory spirit we’ve embraced all year long. Still, we had all this to keep us busy:

National Hard Candy Day

You hear about hard candy, but no one ever talks about ‘soft’ candy. Why do we only differentiate when the candy moves from chewy to crunchy? This is as deep as I feel like digging into this topic.

I’m a fan of hard candy. As a loyalist to my sweet tooth, I have always enjoyed a variety of enamel-testing sweetness. My grandmother used to have a candy dish of humbugs on her coffee table. It was particularly fun when they’d all glom together into one misshapen humbug. My favourite candy as a kid was scotch mints, ideally with the insides all crumbly and English mint-ish, rather than chewy. And those little cinnamon hearts are always a treat. Don’t even get me started on the majesty of peppermints.

Were we not already shoulder-deep in baked goods (see yesterday’s article), we might have taken some time and gorged on hard candies yesterday. But we have five people’s worth of cookies to eat, and only three people here for the season. We have our work laid out before us, and sprinkling hard candy on top of it all might have been too much. But candy canes check off both boxes of hard candy’s requirements, so this one filled in quite nicely.

This has truly been a year of utter indulgence. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down in its calorie-rich insanity, even as the year starts to waddle toward the closing curtain. We’ll make it. We can endure all this delicious work.

National Emo Day

“Emo” is a subculture of mostly youths, one that most adults who do not have school-aged children may not be aware of. It’s an evolution of the mopey disenfranchised punk, or those folks in the 80s who cranked up the Cure, wore a lot of black and moped a lot. This is not meant to confuse them with goths, who also wear a lot of black (and who may or may not also be into the Cure), but who do so with a different aesthetic and purpose.

Abbey went through an emo phase, and from that time she kept as a souvenir an appreciation for bands like My Chemical Romance, who found a way to tap into that teen angst and prompt it to greater percolation. I wasn’t aware that the emo crowd was in need of their own day, but apparently they are. As far back as 2009 there’s an entry for this day in the Urban Dictionary online, and depending on which entry you subscribe to, it’s either a day for celebrating the emo folks in your life, or for hunting them down to beat them up. Needless to say, we are in the former camp, as the latter is fairly off-brand for our kind ‘n loving vibe.

I took a few moments out of the day to listen to some Emo Phillips, a standup comedian who has nothing to do with the emo lifestyle, but who is surreal and bizarre enough to no doubt launch even the most morose, bang-flipping emo mopester into cautious, confused laughter. I also listened to a track or two of the mood music, but it didn’t stick for me.

It’s an odd day to show up in December, and I can find no reason why it lands on the 19th. Maybe it’s to counter-balance the festive, colourful cheer all over the place. Whatever the reason, happy (or hopelessly dejected) National Emo Day to all.

Look For An Evergreen Day

Likely an off-shoot of the days of yore when anyone who wanted to celebrate Christmas had to do so with an actual murdered tree in their homes, this is a day to look for a suitable evergreen. As mentioned last week, I have only once had an actual butchered tree in my house. It was messy, but made our basement room smell delightful.

Like most people, we have already set up our tree this year. I saw trees lit up the day after Halloween, most likely because we’re all eager to get 2020 behind us and hope for better days ahead. Also like most people, we use an artificial tree. It saves money, it’s easy to set up and take down, and we don’t get a bunch of needles embedded in our floor. So we had no need to look for an evergreen.

But why would I include this day if we weren’t going to indulge in the celebration? This is the kind of question I tend not to ask myself, because if ‘why’ was a significant factor in anything we were doing this year, our brains might explode. We simply did. And I found one, right outside our house. We have shown this tree before, though I’m pretty sure it has grown substantially over the year. It’s an evergreen tree that seemed to magically appear in our yard one year, just popping up out of the ground, despite our not having planted it. So I took a shot of the little dude in the snow. Last year he was completely buried. This year he gets a view of the world. For now, anyway.

Technically we could have celebrated this anywhere, even in our bathroom. It’s not Find an Evergreen Day; you could look anywhere you want to for an evergreen. Check your pantry. Pop into your freezer. Go nuts!

So close to the end of the year we can smell it, here’s what awaits us on the penultimate Sunday of 2020:

  • National Sangria Day. This one is tricky… we just picked up lots of booze yesterday, and we really aren’t feeling sangria. We’ll see.
  • Games Day. On a Sunday? Packed with football games? Sounds great!
  • Dot Your I’s Day. I wonder if Cross Your T’s day shows up tomorrow. Or maybe on Christmas. That might be more appropriate.
  • Cathode-Ray Tube Day. Hooray for antiquated tech!
  • Mudd Day. Not about the Star Trek guy, but about the guy who helped John Wilkes Booth hide out.

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