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Saturday essay: Horn of treasures

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

It's almost too much to bear, this daily barrage of Christmas catalogues. Note use of the qualifying word “almost.”

The post-Thanksgiving onslaught easily averages half-a-dozen a day. From hams to jewelry and toys (for kids little and big), from model trains to chocolates, fruits and nuts and from newly discovered old stuff sold as new to new stuff made to mimic the old-fashioned, this Christmas catalogue horn of plenty borders on the horn of too much.

“Enough!” many of us shout in disgust, exposed for the mock that it is as we stop on, oh, page 33 of a certain catalogue to admire the very same revered “Caroler Candles” that never were to be lit as a child.

“No more!” we intone, our affectation rendered silly as we pause on, say, page 54 of another catalogue to admire the Scottish pocket watch made anew from the original hundred-year-old design and for a remarkably low get-outta-town! price.

“Well, this is simply too much!” we roll our eyes at the cartoon image of Mrs. Claus on the cover of another catalogue, feigning shock at the rising shirt and falling pants of Santa placing a package under the tree, his unshown posterior exposure a tease to “longtail” shirts designed to eliminate manly “mechanics'” malfunctions. “That's a pretty good idea,” we catch ourselves muttering.

Then we're quickly back to dissing it all — now not so much for the volume of the “junk” but because we don't have enough time to properly peruse the packed horn of treasures placed before us.

— Colin McNickle

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