Almost two weeks into the season, and I’m already getting the holiday spirit.
Let me preface this by saying, this is very early for me. I’m not the guy who warms up for the next round of festivities as soon the last dish is cleared from the Thanksgiving feast. In fact, it’s usually late on Christmas Eve—just after downing several Egg Nogs and sobbing while watching It’s A Wonderful Life—that I can even bring myself to say “seasons greetings.”
I’m especially scorched by the whole hit- the-ground-running approach to gift giving with its insistence that Black Friday is a national holiday that warrants arising at ungodly hours to secure so-called bargains.
So I guess you could sum up my overall holiday mood up to this point with one word: Humbug!
But today I had a transformation of Scrooge-ian proportions. And it happened in the most unlikely of venues: in front of a store window dressed for the season. I know, I know. Holiday displays are usually cheesy come-ons, but this was one was different. For me, it conveyed the true spirit of the season.
Suspense over: It was the window at Park Avenue Liquors in Manhattan, filled with $140,000 worth of high-end spirits. I felt like a little kid again, pressing my nose to the glass to get a look at a Lionel train, a Flexible Flyer sled or “a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.” Only, in this case, I was taking a gander at 24 beautiful bottles, including Scotch whiskies (a 57- and 60-year-old Macallan, a Bowmore 40-year-old and the fabled Black, Glenmorangie Pride, Highland Park 50-year-old and The John Walker blend that includes whiskies from two different distilleries that no longer exist) and Cognacs (a magnum of Louis XIII Cognac, four different versions of Hardy Perfection, Hennessy Richard and Martel L’Or De Jean Martel).
God rest ye merry gentlemen! I could see again. Not only that I got my first letter to Santa in years already stamped.
It feels so good to embrace the holidays once more. Now, if I can only get myself into the spirit of giving (which my kids keep reminding me so vehemently I should have).
Maybe after a few sips of Glenfiddich 40-year-old.
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