Holiday Cheer on the Peninsula

Palo Alto during the holiday season, boy it takes me back. Well not really, I had never been here before 2001, but no matter. Things are in gear for XMas05, which kind of sounds like an XBox 360 game, except that it would be 06, since that sounds newer (because 06 is, in fact, next year, which is clearly newer than this year).

Anyways, I went about town today, to do various errands and fulfill some of my personal desires. Thankfully Marisa let me borrow her car for taking her and Frank to the airport, so I didn’t have to bike through the torrential downpours. For real, man, this is Palo Alto and it was thundering! I see like 5 bolts of lightning all year here, and 4 of them occured today! Once when I got out of the car, the water was up to my heels and my shoe got wet. But the weather is not important, except for that rain is kind of part of the Holiday Cheer of Palo Alto.

About town, I visited several corporate franchises and branches this afternoon (For many corporations, not just one). Fry’s certainly had its holiday teases down, with its (speak of the devil) XBox 360 console. Not only was it the awesomest graphics ever (for real I am not just some fanboy about consoles, the only console I’ve owned is Sega Genesis), but they also would only let you play a little of Call of Duty 2, and also had a dumb video of some racing game, so really I was left dissapointed by the holiday teases. I did buy a couple cables tho, and Fry’s doesn’t seem to sell Koss products.

I also stopped by a Wells Fargo ATM, and the holiday cheer is there too, in graphical advertisement form. Fun. The stationery store did not have much holiday goings on, except for a couple little displays, the store was semi-bustling tho.

Also, I went to Borders (to buy A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin’s latest installment in his A Song of Ice and Fire series), and they are chock full of holiday gift cards, semi-transparent with snowflakes and other fun things. I saw a lady counting and thinking, probably trying to remember how many kids she has or maybe which coworkers she actually likes, and just so you know, she wasn’t in line (I asked). Also they let me donate $1, $3, $5, or any other amount to get children their first book for this holiday season, so I picked $3, that made me feel good.

Finally, I went to Starbucks to read the book I bought at Borders (Some days you really need to go from Borders to Starbucks, even if it makes you feel like a yuppie, or more of a ysssie: young suburban student-sie). Anyways, I managed to show up on the very day Starbucks of Colorado Ave & Middlefield Rd was having their holiday cheer party. Not only were they chock full of holiday Starbucks cards (semi transparent with snowflakes, once again), but they also had a PARTY! This consisted of a dude (and also twice, a dudette) moving about the ‘Bucks with a tray of sweets and various holiday drinks (especially those from their Holiday Trio). They also had stickers for kids. Also they really kept giving kids like tons of the cranberry bliss and gingerbread loaf and other sweet things. Myself and most of the other student-age people around me didn’t usually take anything, but the 30-something crowd was all over the stuff. It was cheery. It kind of bugged me since I wanted to read Crows, so I didn’t stay as long as I planned to.

I hope I didn’t sound too cynical here, WTFbrb is not about bringing you the cynical side of the holidays. In fact, I genuinely enjoyed seeing less-than-busy people at Borders and Starbucks when they should’ve been working, and the various forms holiday cheer can take. This is one of my guilty pleasures, I guess.


  1. Jenny Said,

    December 2, 2005 @ 10:45

    Ysssies!! I love going from Border’s to Starbucks, back in my day when I was a student–young, lonely, and drunk.

  2. Mars Said,

    December 13, 2005 @ 9:12

    Starbucks was all holiday-ed up before Thanksgiving, breaking what I feel is the cardinal rule of Christmas. Also, as a friend indicates
    here, Christmas is only once a year… except for the fact that it’s advertised for two of twelve months per year.

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