Christmas Day Fairmount Way

Beautiful Lamps
Every December 25, we finish off our gift giving by a walk out to buy some bagels. This tradition started one Christmas when I was looking for a store that was open to buy bread. The only business in operation was Fairmount Bagel, and I had to get in a line that snaked out the door. With the scent of roasting sesame seeds in the air and the warmth radiating from the wood-fired ovens, I went whole hog and bought cream cheese, light of course, which I was later disparaged for, lox and capers. My daughter loved the smoked salmon and has asked for that pink stuff ever since.

Wonderful Thai Restaurant
On this particular Christmas day, I was engrossed in What it is, a book by alternative comic artist Lynda Barry, my kids were playing with their new toys and my husband was trying to finish his 3D-animation holiday message, so I didn't make it out of the house until after dark. My daughter, now eight, had better things to do, like watch The Grinch for the eighth time, and declined the offer to join me. Yes, you're right Lucie; she's already pulling away from me.

Bon, il y avait "un" chat!
Anyway, there was an upside to going for a walk by myself. I was able to go window shopping on Laurier Avenue West and take pictures, which wouldn't have been an option with my daughter. The gentrified and decidedly Outremont version of St-Viateur, Laurier West is too pricey and precious for actual shopping unless of course you enjoy shuddering, cringing and repeating prices in outraged tones. Nevertheless, the merchants really do a great job of window dressing. And last night, il n'y avait pas un chat, so I could look for as long as I wanted without feeling conspicuous.

As I looked at the shiny objects I remembered buying overpriced items as a twenty-year-old, just because I could. It was in open rebellion to the tightfisted habits of my mom, who would spend three times as long to find the same thing at a fraction of the price. As per usual, she was right. In the end, all of these must-have knick-knacks ended up at a garage sale, fetching a symbolic price. Once I wised up and realized that I could do many more things with my money than increase some vendor's profit margin, I adopted my mother's penny-pinching ways. Besides, I'd amassed enough odds and sods that I could stop shopping altogether.

Even after my husband introduced me to the third floor of the now-defunct Warshaws, I could not be swayed. We already had enough crap...Which reminded me, as I walked over to Fairmount, where the hell was I going to put all the "stuff" we got for Christmas this year. Right next to the treadmill, I guess.

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The Lure of Fishing on Bernard
Christmas in Parc Lahaie



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