The starting bell of the holiday season, John Cain’s Holiday Reading at South Shore Arts, officially sounded on Tuesday around 1 pm, when, after a brief introduction and awards ceremony to mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the tradition, the Executive Director began reading “A Jug of Silver,” a Truman Capote short story. Capote, who John portrayed in a production of “Tru,” at the Towle Theater in Hammond several years ago, is the most frequently read author in the holiday repertoire, although not my personal favorite. My personal favorite was the story John wrote more than a decade ago about his brief employment working for Larry Flynt when he was just out of college. A Larry Flynt Christmas, currently attached to the Shore website, along with a profile of Mr. Cain and a complete list of the selections for the holiday reading over the years, is worth re-reading if you want a few laughs.
Of course, I feel a trifle under-prepared for the holiday and will likely spend a whole bunch of time planning a meal that won’t get served until Friday and will consist of pizza, jambalaya---in honor of my daughter’s visit from New Orleans---and some other picnic food that will give us a little contrast from the previous day’s chow down. Another thing is I have to go through the drawer in my home office where the gift cards are stowed and make sure I don’t have any expirations on the horizon. I was surprised a couple of weeks ago to notice that in the haze of last year’s holiday I bought myself a half price massage at Serenity Salon & Spa in Chesterton on a Times’ Today’s Deal. That was probably one of the smartest moves I made in 2012 so I collected on that last Saturday.
I’m there are a few of you out there who are going to get a jump on gift shopping and you are very lucky to be in that position. My basic tip is to get a hold of a copy of the Dec/Jan issue of Shore, which has an outstanding gift guide, as well as a comprehensive events calendar. But the most important event to get ready for is the Grand Party at Customs Imports on Whittaker St. on Friday, December 6 starting at 6 pm (ET) with food, booze, karaoke and shopping. The $20 ticket is refundable as a coupon on whatever you buy at Customs. Tickets are available at two Customs locations in New Buffalo.