With mixed feelings, I went downtown today. I was a little worried about getting smushed to death by frantic last-minute shoppers. However, I needn't have worried. It was a beautiful, sunny day! And everyone was stupendously cheerful and friendly!
I think it helped that I was in and out of the Eaton Centre mall before noon. It hadn't yet filled up to the brim with anxious, desperate people. Instead, I saw young parents walking their small children around the mall, oohing and aahing at the window displays and decorations. A tickled-pink baby waved hello to one of the giant reindeer-made-of-lights.
I was at my parents' house for dinner yesterday, where I hung out with my furry little brothers.
My mom was test-driving a new dish: roasted, mixed winter root vegetables. She's planning to serve it for my grandmother's birthday on Monday. She wants me to arrive early to help her prepare the dinner. This is all well and good, except I realized immediately that I'd be stuck peeling a big pile of carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and potatoes with her absolutely useless, ancient peeler. My hands hurt just thinking about it. So I stopped in at The Bay and bought a fancy new peeler for her kitchen. Kind of a "for you for me" gift.
I didn't have to wait in line long to pay, and when I got to the counter the cashier was in fine spirits. I can't remember how we got on the subject, but I told her how I'd just been in Dundas Square patting a reindeer.
There were two of them there, munching hay in a small enclosure, overseen by two miserably cold handlers. Another clerk perked up his ears at this news. I explained how the reindeer were smaller than I'd imagined, between the size of a goat and the size of a donkey. Also, their antlers were impressive and their fur was very soft. (Yes, petting was allowed.) Both cashiers got pretty jazzed about the idea of going to meet the reindeer on their break.
Next stop was the Annapurna restaurant, Toronto's oldest vegetarian restaurant (est. 1974) and "dedicated to the oneness-world vision of Sri Chinmoy." I had arranged to meet a friend there for lunch. I love Annapurna's simple, healthy food and the calm, pastel atmosphere. Ken finds the food bland, and refers to the oneness-world vision as a cult. Cult or no, they make a fantastic peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookie.
And that was enough excitement for me for one day. I headed home for a nice warm nap. Now Ken has just called to me from the next room "Want to go to Mandarin for dinner?" Oh, yes, yes, and double yes. I'm outta here. Merry Christmas everyone!