Sampling the Holidays
If you're passing at night in December--or even just late afternoon on these shortest days of the year--your eyes might be drawn to some flashing light displays. The famous Italian chain (Little Caesars, ha-ha-ha) will likely make a big bright splash, as will Banfield's Bar & Grill and the front window of Golam Produce Market.
Christmas? Mostly, except the folks inside Golam say they keep the twinkly lights strung all year. They don't plan for fuss or rush in December, at least not any more than they experience at the end of every week when familiar customers come in for choice halal roasts (from animals slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law). A good weekend meal with the family is the best definition of "holiday," a small cluster of folks around the merchandise-crowded checkout counter seemed to agree.
Galleria Asian Market a few doors down has plans to put out a few Christmas decorations and gift displays amid its mostly Korean and Japanese groceries and household wares, but not a big production. As of mid-November, prime display shelves front and center in the massive store were lined with giant bow-wrapped boxes of a confection of some sort. Look closer and see, ah yes, they're the long thin candied-topped cookie sticks known in Japan by the tradename Pocky and in South Korea as Pepero. Apparently, in the last couple of decades the sticks have earned their own eponymous holiday in South Korea. Pepero Day is celebrated on November 11 because "11/11" looks like sticks--and because who doesn't need another Valentine's Day sort of celebration to warm up on a few months early?