Monday, September 20, 2010

The Leaves Haven't Even Fallen Yet

"Daddy, do you want to come to my tea party?" asked Ann, setting up her plastic cups, saucers and teapot not long ago.

"I've got to work up some rage against the federal government first," I said. I couldn't resist. She ignored me, because children are wise in the ways of ignoring politics. I sat with her a few minutes and drank some air tea.

Over the weekend I made it to a warehouse store to pick up a few items, but mainly to eat free samples. There's an aisle of Christmas goods on display already. Just one aisle, which will certainly expand later.

I played a little game: find an item not made in China. It was hard. The most elaborate made-in-China Xmas item was a Nativity set that promised it was "hand-painted," "antique style," and complete with "faux gold leaf accents." I guess that last one would involve gold-colored paint.

Elsewhere was a Lighted Santa -- maybe better to look at from a distance, and on a dark December night -- Ornamental Lanterns in various styles, and LED lights in diverse arrays: icicle-style, along with 100- and 50-light strings. But my own favorite were the flameless candle sets, which sport LED flame-like flickers, a vanilla scent, and remote control. Just how many settings do these flameless candles have, to be operated by remote control? The box didn't say.

Still no non-Chinese items. Even a pair of porcelain Nutcracker Tealight Candle Holders began its journey to northern Illinois in eastern Asia. But one of the two on display will end up in a landfill. That is, it will be deposited there sooner than the rest of the items, since everything I saw is destined for a landfill in the fullness of time. Someone, by accident or on purpose, had decapitated one of the nutcrackers, but then carefully placed the head next to the figurine's feet. Was it an homage to the headless nutcracker character in The Nightmare Before Christmas?

Finally I found one holiday item not only not made in China, but actually made in the United States, for what that's worth: a box of ornate Christmas cards. But then I realized the game wasn't worth the candle, since I didn't much like the cards, and besides, it's September.

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