Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The Sure Signs of Christmas
Everyone who celebrates Christmas--and probably even those who don't--know the signs that Christmas is coming. They are so familiar to us that they've become traditions. Store shelves are stocked with decorations and cards (and it seems as though this happens earlier every year), Christmas tree lots open with their offerings of wonderfully smelling trees, Christmas music takes over the radio playlists, and those familiar and treasured Christmas films such as It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and White Christmas come on television, along with my personal favorites National Lampoon Christmas Vacation and Elf. And then we have the ultimate sign that Christmas is around the corner--Peter comes home for coffee and the Salad Shooter.
In a coffee commercial--and I can't recall which brand--Peter came home from college apparently. His adorable little sister meets him as he comes in. Then his parents come downstairs, "Peter, you're home," his mother sacchrinely greets him. For many of my Christmases, that particular commercial seemed to signal the coming of Christmas. Oh, they'd wait until Thanksgiving passed, but it seemed that a minute after midnight of the following day that commercial began playing. And, it played for years and years. Fortunately, they stopped showing it right after Christmas.
Oh, the beloved Salad Shooter. OK, I admit to never owning one of these, but I know people who do, and they wouldn't live without it. When it first came out, commercials for it were all over television. Actually, now that I think about it, I do remember asking for one, but it never made it to Santa's list. You put the veggies in and it "shoots" them out--all perfectly uniformly cut. What more could you want? As time went by (and I'm guessing that people saw more value in a food processor or even a good chef's knife), commercials for the Salad Shooter were relegated to Christmas time--what to get that cook who has everything.
These were my indicators that Christmas and Hanukkah were on the way. But then, something happened: Peter stopped coming home, and the Salad Shooter vanished. At first I'd occasionally see these commercials on The Food Network. Then--nothing. Oh all right, Peter is probably middle aged and waiting for his own kid to come home from college now. And really, how practical is a Salad Shooter anyway? Still, there's something sad about losing traditions--even these.