Cart Before The Horse

In the past couple of days, several of my friends have begun decorating their homes for the holidays. Two of them have confirmed Christmas trees in full regalia, and they’ve received mixed responses on social media. Some declare it’s too early; some say a month isn’t long enough to celebrate. The rule-abiding part of me agrees that convention should be abided by; Friday is the earliest time to fetch those attic boxes.

But then again, the Hallmark Channel has made me a sucker for Christmas movies, so the spirit has been in me for nearly a month. This year, they started showing them BEFORE Halloween, which was fine and dandy with me. Let’s face it; Thanksgiving movies are rare. Thanksgiving songs are rare. I love giving thanks, and I love borderline gluttony. But Christmas is MAGICAL.

I confess I’m itching to put up my Coca-Cola Christmas villages, to lay out the several ornament-themed Christmas kitchen mats that are so soft on my overworked feet, to hang jingle bells on my doors, and lights on the staircase. But we’re HOSTING Thanksgiving this year, so I have to keep it in check. I have to welcome guests into the world of browns and oranges, not red and greens. I may want to burst inside and launch into rounds of “Feliz Navidad,” but I’ll have to be the anti-Elf, restrained, focused on keeping the coffee cups full and not the yuletide gaiety. Not yet, Santa. Not yet.

But I tell you what’s going down that Black Friday morning–that tree goes up. That pre-lit 8-foot tree, my friends. And the magic can commence.

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Countdown to Thanksgiving

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving holiday in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, keep these important facts in mind:

  • If your in-laws are coming to your home, stock up on Pepto-Bismol. And remember what Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Hollah.

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  • If you’re the one traveling, make sure your vehicle has been well-maintained. I can’t overstate this enough.

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  • When you’re fueling up, use high anti-knock gasoline. You never know what kind of weather you will encounter.

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  • Many Americans enjoy spending hours swilling beer and watching football as a way of offering up thanks on this four-day weekend, so make sure your big screen TV is not on the fritz.

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  • Don’t forget the most important part: dessert! Everyone loves pies–pumpkin, pecan, apple, sweet potato, blackberry, chocolate cream, coconut cream…There’s always room for dessert.

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  • But above all, avoid excessive gluttony.

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  • And remember what it’s all about, Charlie Brown–an annual tradition since 1863, when Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

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Swellest Menu Art, Part III

Mayflower Menu

Mayflower Menu

Today is the final installment of vintage menus.  The above pic is a Thanksgiving menu, a feast that Americans celebrate at the end of November, which makes all politically correct people get their panties in a wad because Pilgrims and Indians (now called Native Americans) could never possibly have shared a squash and a smile.  But whatever.  We watch football with our families, gorge ourselves on turkey and casseroles, and save room for pie.  Come to think of it, why would anyone be eating in a RESTAURANT on Thanksgiving?  Anyhoo, here are the feast details (one may click to enlarge).

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Those prices are pretty steep for modern times, and this menu is at least twenty years old.  Mercy!

Here is a cute breakfast menu from Varadero International in Cuba, all in Spanish.

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pic102Coffee was A QUARTER.  Can you imagine buying a beverage for ONE coin?  What would the tip be?  A nickel?  Did waitresses walk around with jingling aprons as dimes clinked against pennies?  Consider the pain involved if she chose to “make it rain up in here.”

The next menu is from the Alta Mira Continental Hotel in San Francisco.  How this hideous design ever got approved is beyond me, as it’s ugly as a 1970s appliance set.

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However, I would be willing to overlook that if I could still procure either the filet mignon or the Half Lobster Delight for under $5, as advertised.

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Bratten’s Grotto in Utah included actual photos on their large fold-out menu:

Cattlemen’s in Fort Worth–in bright taxi-cab yellow–had an interesting cocktail menu, which included both a Tio Pepe and a Tia Maria.

This final menu shows the name of its owner in the left corner, and its age, with the dates from 1961-1972.  I love the sea foam green, the cheese saltines, and the ten ways to prepare a potato.

Thanks for peeking back in time with me!