Sunday, December 7, 2008

12 days of Christmas

This morning as I prepared Lanie's breakfast, I started singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas." I haven't sung that song in a long time, as we aren't really carollers around here. As I looked into Lanie's eyes, there was a light in them, a certain holiday merriment.

A partridge in a pear tree.

But what comes next? Two calling birds? Two ladies dancing? I started to wing it. What did Lanie know anyway? Funny thing, when I started to sing the song backwards, I remembered the lyrics. Yet going forward, I stumbled over the lines.

Immediately, I thought of the lovely set of Christmas plates at Williams-Sonoma. On more than one occasion, I've been lured into that store. Their lighting is exquisite, the way the golden rays sparkle and glitter off every surface of gleaming piece of cookware. Copper pots. Saute pans. Dutch ovens. Panini presses. Then there's the aroma of the store that wraps an embracing hug around you so you'll stay a few minutes longer. Long enough to see the shelves stocked with rich chocolate shavings for the quintessential cup of holiday hot chocolate. Or the must-have cookie cutters for the upcoming cookie swap. Or for the $10 sandwich cutter you didn't realize you needed until your youngest was screaming loudly in the store. So you bought it. And later returned it when you regained your senses. But I digress.

I have fallen in love with their "12 days of Christmas" holiday salad plates. Each plate represents a day of Christmas, so you get twelve. And they have matching dinner plates, sold separately. And I knew if I had them, I would remember how to sing this maddening song to my daughter. And we'd dine off the matching dinnerware, serenaded by the colorful lights of our Christmas tree and the song of our hearts during a merry season.

No matter what I do, my mind goes back to those plates. If it's not a WS e-mail in my in-box, it's the catalog enticing me from the counter. Or something as benign as a song to my daughter in the morning. It's a spell.

"Sing it again, Mommy," Lanie says.

I only get the lyrics right backwards, but she doesn't seem to notice my inconsistency. It would be cheaper to Google the lyrics. It takes my total, utter, weakening will not to go near that store. Especially when reader reviews comment on things like: something to pass down to children; beautiful artwork; being discontinued this year ... the urgency. I'm a sucker for marketing copy and the teaser of never seeing it again. There will never be another 12 days of Christmas salad plate! (When I wail it along these lines, it does seem rather foolish.)

But if you happen to come to my house during the holidays, and see my table adorned with a partridge or golden ring plate, don't judge me. I'm sure you've been snookered into a purchase before too. Instead, enjoy the delicious salad that I place on top of your plate and smile.

Resist, Courtney, resist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You could "compromise" and get the cookie platter that has all 12 days and costs 1/3 what the 12 plates cost. Then brag to your husband and friends that you had saved $60 on the platter!!!! (I am going anonymous on this one...)