Next year the Christmas season will start in May.

The last bank holiday for the year is this weekend and I’m glad to see it come. It means we are that much closer to Thanksgiving, which means I’m that much closer to going to the US for a week. You’d think that after having my parents here in Ireland with us in our house, all the time, 24/7, with constant contact I would be saying, HEY GUYS, I’LL CATCH YOU IN JULY, but no, we are looking forward to the trip to my parents place in New Jersey where the real spirit of the holidays comes alive – right there in your local shopping mall. If you’re from NJ, you know you have at least 7 malls within a 10 miles radius and to me, it’s part of what makes the holiday season the holiday season. Where else can you get 10000000000000000 people in 10000000000000 cars into only 10 spaces?

This year, because of the impending arrival, we will be spending Christmas in Ireland so an air marshal doesn’t have to have that internal battle between taking down a woman who is 33 weeks pregnant and saving an flight attendant from death by a plastic, FAA approved spoon because she didn't get the pregnant lady her water fast enough, or respecting that the pregnant lady has water retention in her legs and sometimes she gets jumpy. Sounds crazy but I’ve seen it happen in movies.

So, this long weekend, to get myself ready for the Christmas season (and if Tesco can be ready for Christmas before Halloween, SO CAN I), I’m going to take a trip up to Borders Books in Blanchardstown to buy myself an awful chiclit novel for my first book club meeting, I’m going to purchase a new winter coat that will cover my whale-like shape, and I’m thinking about stopping by Meadows and Byrne to gaze lovingly at their pretty Christmas decorations while making a deal with the staff for some of their beautiful centre pieces in exchange for a brand new baby in the new year.

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Liz in Dublin