Holiday Stroll 2016: Part 1

You know what they say about the best-laid plans.

For this year’s holiday stroll Kira and defied (or perhaps embraced) that adage, turning it into a set of no-laid plans. Unsure of whether we could get together again before Christmas, we decided to play it safe and make our annual Holiday Stroll a couple of weeks ago. We just happened to make the decision the night it all began, which meant no itinerary and no set plan, not even a loose one. That wasn’t a bad thing though, and it was sort of how we started doing these strolls in the first place.

I arrived in Boston on Friday afternoon, and it was a gloriously sun-filled day. After cleaning a disgusting toilet and going crazy trying to find a bunch of missing towels, I realized my brother had been there last, and once again I was cleaning up after him. Not one to let such common disappointments mar an otherwise-hopeful holiday stroll, I set my mood aright by setting up the limited holiday decorations I started collecting last year. Once the lights were on, and a glass of wine was poured, I felt the holiday spirit. Kira arrived long after it was dark, and we headed into Chinatown for a bowl of hot soup.

In many respects, it’s the night before any holiday stroll that feels the most special. There was a brisk breeze, tempered by the steaming bowls of soup before us, and, later, a whiskey cocktail at the Mandarin Oriental.

Better than any other time of the year, the shop windows were decked out in their holiday displays – whimsical, enchanting, imaginative scenes – the sort of thing that would tickle my childhood fancy more than any real gifts beneath the tree could ever capture. We paused and looked into the pretty portals, and the innocence of the season, no matter how much jaded commercialism had crept in through the years, touched me once more.

Then it was time to go back to the condo, and a viewing of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’. I had neglected to bring our standard holiday fare ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’ so this would have to do. Our holiday stroll had unwittingly begun, and we were both asleep before they even reached the Halloween scene.

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