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Yuletide in Review | Maggie Beaumont

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The first snow in November tempted us to think about snow for Christmas, but this week temperatures have been 10 to 20 degrees above normal. Two days of rain last week and again this week that felt like April, but here it is half-past December. Just when I think I know what to expect, once again I’m not wearing the right coat. A truly odd season.

The lobby of my apartment building sprouted Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving with evergreens draped across a fictitious mantelpiece, pointsettias lining the hallway. Day by day since, they blossomed into candy canes, tiny lights on strings surrounding mirrors and picture frames, sleighbells on doors. Last week they added a Christmas tree and today there are packages beneath it. In the elevator yesterday there was talk of putting a toy train there, if they can figure out how to keep it safe from toddlers.

Meanwhile the strip mall nearby has three vacant stores where a year ago were thriving businesses. I don’t think they all moved away, but I don’t know what changed for them. Did an owner retire? Did the landlord raise the rent a little too much? Have their customers migrated to on-line shopping sites?

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