Me and Chairman Mao
  Christmas Time's A-Comin'
Remember back when no one used to put up Christmas decorations until the day after Thanksgiving? I do, although just barely, since it seems that every year the lights go up earlier and earlier. Naturally, Thanksgiving is already a lost cause: I'm sure that in ten years it will be some sort of Christmas warm-up meal, maybe a Christmas kick-off day, instead of what it represents now, which as we all know is the ability to show not only how much food we Americans have access too, but how much of it we can eat in one sitting. Personally, I'm not even sure that Halloween will survive unscathed, although I'm not sure how that would work, since anyone who's watch A Nightmare Before Christmas knows that the two holidays just don't mix that well.

But whatever. The point is that, just as it no doubt has back in the States--I've heard unconfirmed reports of Santa sightings at local malls--Christmas has arrived before Thanksgiving here in Shanghai. Although of course it's not quite as meaningful here, since they not only don't have Thanksgiving but, as far as I can tell, don't really get what it's all about yet: last Thanksgiving, a Chinese woman we knew in Beijing was furious that her sister's boyfriend from Scotland was not doing anything to celebrate Thanksgiving with said sister. Yes, you read that right: he was Scottish, a people who, as far as I know, not only do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but don't really have a Thanksgiving equivalent. (Which I guess would make sense, since they still haven't been able to throw off the cruel yoke of British oppression, despite what Braveheart would have you believe.) We tried to tell her that Thanksgiving was only an American holiday, but she didn't believe us. Which is too bad, since as far as I know poor Ewan--just a guess, but isn't like every other Scottish guy named Ewan?--is currently being cursed out for not celebrating a holiday he shouldn't be celebrating, if that makes sense, and I'm not sure it does.

(Side note: I actually saw my first Christmas decoration here the week before Halloween, if you can believe that--some boxes wrapped in Christmas paper displayed in a window. I have a picture, but since boxes in a window aren't that exciting--even by my admittedly low picture-posting standards--I never put it up.)

Anyway, I was walking past one of our local Pizza Huts the other day and noticed that they'd already gone to town with the Christmas decorations. It's a bit hard to see because of the glare from the window, but if you look carefully you'll notice that, besides the wreaths on the door, there's a Christmas tree just inside to the left, and the girl on the right (partially hidden by a wreath) is dressed in red and has a Santa suit on.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that Pizza Hut got into the Christmas spirit so early though. After all, long-time readers will remember that Pizza Hut is the place that put Santa to work stocking the salad bar. I mean, when you have that sort of relationship with Kris Kringle, you might as well take advantage of it as soon as you can, Thanksgiving be damned.

I guess the whole "present delivery" thing doesn't pay the bills anymore? But I don’t blame FedEx or UPS. After all, man cannot live on milk and cookies alone ...
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