December 18, 2009
snowmen and santas and ghosts and pumpkins
In early November, when Christmas began to flood the stores, I thought about making some new ornaments for my tree this year. I hadn't created homemade Christmas ornaments in many years. Particularly since those early creations have become the object of yearly ridicule. But motivated by the success of my Halloween tree ornaments and a new-found pride in my ornament-creating ability, that was about to change. Choosing not to blend Christmas and Halloween, I decided on snowflakes as the shape of choice and off I went to find a snowflake cookie cutter. Snowflake cookie cutters were thick on the ground in November. Big or small. Simple or elegant. Plastic or metal. They were everywhere. I found one that I liked at Michael's.
I bought it. I know I did. I'm not insane. I'm not beginning to slide into the early stages of dementia. I distinctly remember purchasing the snowflake cookie cutter, bringing it home, and placing it in the container with the other cookie cutters.
But when procrastination was finally overcome by Christmas spirit last week and I made my ornament dough and switched on the oven and opened the cupboard to retrieve my new cookie cutter . . . it wasn't there. Nowhere. I overturned the cookie cutter box. I searched the whole cupboard. I searched the surrounding cupboards. I interrogated my family. Nowhere.
Pushing aside disturbing fears of mental instability, I came to the conclusion that it had been misplaced and would eventually turn up. Likely in July. But that didn't help me now. I had ornaments to create. So off I went once again to locate a clone of that cookie cutter. The one I know I bought. But it was now mid-December. That favourite snowflake cookie cutter could not be found. Nor could any other snowflake cookie cutter. There were plenty of cookie cutters. There were Christmas trees. And gingerbread people. And snowmen. And candy canes. And mittens. But no snowflakes.
After visiting six stores in a futile search for a snowflake cookie cutter, I was prepared to admit defeat. But then I made one final attempt. Home Outfitters was on my way home, so I stopped in. Just in case. I explored aisle after aisle in the kitchen department, passing cookie sheets and oven mitts and casserole dishes, ever vigilant for that elusive snowflake shape.
Suddenly, I saw it. Off in the distance. In the furthest recesses of the kitchen gadgets section. Not a snowflake cookie cutter of course (they had long since sold out of those). No, this was better than snowflakes. It was a large table that appeared to be enveloped in an aura of orange. As I drew nearer, I saw that it was filled with the remnants of Halloween. Ghost candles and pumpkin-shaped bowls and vintage-inspired paper decorations. My heart leaped with joy. I rushed over and began sorting through the merchandise, deciding upon a purchase.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw them. Two store clerks. Looking quite concerned. They approached quickly and informed me that they were in the process of moving this table of Halloween goodness into storage and packing it up. This being Christmas season, after all. They seemed to regard me as odd.
I never did get a snowflake cookie cutter. But no matter. The desire to create snowflake ornaments had passed and I went home and had a glass of eggnog. I felt content. The day had been truly magical. The sight of those ghosts and pumpkins and bats amongst the snowmen and santas had warmed my heart and filled me with all the joys of the season.