Holiday Decorations around the World

There hasn’t been too much winter chill in the air lately in East Tennessee, where daytime temps have been hovering around the 50-degree mark, only just turning colder a few days ago. Still, Christmas is less than three weeks away, and holiday decorations are up in force.

Though not a religious person, I still enjoy the spirit of the season, particularly the lights, the holly, and the trees. Combined, these decorations suggest a communal spirit of giving, and a general air of hope, something of which the world has been in short supply lately.

Here is a sampling of holiday decorations witnessed by yours truly during his travels around the globe. I shall start with cities that I once lived in, then move on from there.

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Looking Forward and Back – Part One

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmakwanzaakuh was special, and I likewise hope you spent New Year’s Eve with someone special. As you may know, Loyal Reader, I spent my Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays with family in Tennessee, and only just returned home to Mexico City yesterday evening.

The days between Christmas and New Year’s should be spent relaxing, of course, but should also include some reflection on the past 365 days, and on what you hope the next 365 will bring. Between hearty servings of zesty goulash, thin spaghetti, tender turkey, and light-as-a-feather mashed potatoes, (the turkey baked to perfection by my sister, who, as it turns out, is one helluva good cook) I did just that. I do just that every year, in fact, but I don’t always learn much. It’s time to pay closer attention.

2012 highlights and lowlights

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Holiday Travels – Part Two

Have you ever been fired from a job? I have, and it’s humiliating. It really is like it happens in the movies – you have to pack all your workplace personal effects – eight years’ worth, in my case (including a plaque for “Most Valuable Player,” oh sweet irony) – into a cardboard box and make the long walk to your car. My boss was kind enough to fire me after hours, but there were still several people working late, and I know what they were thinking as I slowly shuffled past them, looking at the ground and trying to bite my tongue. Gives new meaning to the phrase “Walk of Shame.”

I kid you not, though – as soon as I pulled out of the parking garage, it was as if a weight had lifted. I could breathe clearly again! I was free! My more level-headed friends would almost certainly go home and immediately file for Unemployment Compensation and polish up their resumes. Me, I did those things as well, to be certain, but they weren’t my first order of business. No, my first task was to buy an airline ticket. Going somewhere. Anywhere. Get me – the fuck – out of here.

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