I love walking into supermarkets at this time of year

The glitter and shine of Christmas shelves, yes, of course, they're all so pretty.
Row upon row upon row of sparkling baubles in clear packaging, the cards with glittery, snowy scenes of villages with all the lights on, cards with images of Santa unloading a sack of gaily wrapped parcels beside a decorated tree, it's all wonderful.

But the best part?

The fresh produce area.

Seasonal summer fruits, golden apricots, rich red nectarines, purple plums.
Juicy pink-red watermelons, bright orange rockmelons, (cantaloupes), pale green honeydew melons, grapes.
All the regulars are there, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, but they seem brighter and fresher somehow, now they are flanked by the summer fruits.

Mmmm, peaches..........

And then there's the hams.

Shelf after shelf of hams. Large hams for families, smaller hams for couples expecting friends for lunch, mini hams, the size I buy. These smaller ones aren't whole hams of course, they are pieces cut and wrapped, but we all knew that didn't we.....

So many varieties! Smoked, double smoked,, even triple smoked!  Honey cured, honey roasted, hickory smoke flavoured, this year, today actually, I noticed a section with 'black peppercorn and paprika' flavoured hams.
Leg ham, shoulder ham, picnic ham, loin ham, (my favourite and the one I bought yesterday).

My local Woolworths has the ham shelves lined with Christmas lights, it's very pretty. 

The service deli has more sliced hams in it's window display, they've added a tub with chunks sliced "off the bone". They do have "off the bone" all year round, but usually sliced or shaved, not the thicker chunkier slices available at Christmas.

This is one of the reasons I like Christmas, shops everywhere seem to make more effort, not just supermarkets. The big department stores really lay it on, and isn't it fabulous!
 It isn't just the decorations. There's an atmosphere not present for the rest of the year.

The one downside? Too many stores could use a better choice of Christmas music.


  1. Oh, the big juicy peaches of August. Warm. Dribbling down my chin.

  2. That's amazing you mentioned about the music River - I've noticed in the last few days most of the shops here are decorated up, but I commented to my companions that there were no Carols at all to go with the festive spirit!
    I got in the spirit early and with zest this year, my house is all done and I even got crafty and made some 'things'.
    Have a great week

  3. I am not usually a fan of the Christmas hype - but agree with you about the produce. Stonefruit. Drool. And the mangoes are here - and the lychees. Drool again.

  4. You expressed so well the joy and awe I felt Sunday as I walked through stores. It is almost magical. The displays seem happy to be there. I love all the lights at Christmas. What a happy post.

  5. Hi River,

    Humbug moment - the shops at Xmas are not that pleasant. They are too packed full of people, they play terrible music (it must drive the staff round the bend), and because it is winter here (temperature today below freezing) it is dark and depressing.

    And no summer fruits either!

    End of humbug moment.




  6. Hi River,

    My humans find the Christmas cheer in the supermarkets to be most inviting. They love to ham it up with the other customers.

    As for the music, my humans agree totally with that.

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

  7. Joanne; I remember peaches as big as softballs, sun-warmed and juicy, picked straight from the tree in the backyard. The ones in the shops are smaller, but still yummy.

    Rose~from Oz; we don't yet have the Christmas music, but I know it's coming and if the last few years are anything to go by, it will be weeks and weeks of carols dragged out as slowly as the singer possibly can. More like a funeral dirge really, when they should be more upbeat and happy. It's supposed to be a Joyous occasion after all.

    Elephant's Child; summer fruit.....need we say more? Well, I don't like mangoes, so feel free to eat my share.

    Linda; exactly! Of course we'll all be tired of it by Christmas, but the first few weeks of glitter and sparkle are magical.

    Plasman; I agree about the packed crowds, but that is later in the season, right now, shopping is delightful. I shall buy a peach and eat it in your honour.

    fishducky; I don't know anyone who doesn't. Except for mangoes. I can't stand them.

    klahanie; hi Penny! I can well imagine your human hamming it up. You'll have to sneak around behind him with a camera for us to see.

  8. Love to do Christmas shopping with all my family members. It is a king of joy which cannot be expressed...

  9. I dont share your enthusiasm River, I hate shopping anytime and it's worse when the shops are full of xmas crap....

  10. Weekend-Windup; welcome to drifting. I haven't shopped with all my family in years, they're all grown now with their own families or lives. But I remember shopping with my youngest two a few years ago, they're a pair of comedians.

    Kymbo; you're not alone, many people don't enjoy shopping, at Christmas or any other time, but I love those early weeks when the sparkle is like magic.

  11. This used to be my favorite time too when my babies were little, to show them the sparkling lights and point out things to them. Our downtown stores used to put trains and mechanical scenes in all the windows and big crowds would gather to view them.
    Where do you live that you have fresh summer fruit? You must live down under?
    Just caught up with your blog; great writer's tips from your class. You should submit some of your stories.

  12. Fresh summer fruit, mmmmm :)

    I love "window shopping" late at night on the mountain in the pretty village. When everything is closed, but the windows are starry lit and prettily decorated. And, we have them all to ourselves :)

  13. Ahh... what wonderful memories of Aussie Christmas. I really miss all of that summer fruit. People look at me as though I'm nuts when I mention cherries, peaches and watermelons as my favourite Christmas fruit. Here it's mostly clementines from Spain that grace the shops - a welcome splash of colour anyway.

    I love the early Christmas look of the shops as well. Everything is all new again and you are full of hope for the season. I like the smells of gingerbread, saffron buns and shelves chock full of seasonal goodies that you never see otherwise. I find it cheering.

    They aren't big on Christmas music in the shops here, so I don't have to grit my teeth about that anymore. I did read once that it was equivalent to some forms of torture for the poor shop assistants who were subjected to it eight hours a day for six weeks.

    Just to clarify : I love Christmas carols. They can be so beautiful and we always go to see Handel's "Messiah" at the cathederal in Stockholm, but somehow the shops avoid the beautiful songs and only play the really annoying ones like "Jingle Bell Rock". Oh no! Why did I mention that song? Now it's playing on repeat in my head!

  14. You're making me hungry! It must be past lunch time, and I skipped it again. Mmm...peaches...and cheese...

  15. I've not been to the stores for several weeks but do hope to get out again soon and look forward to seeing all the decorations and would like to think the music is Christmas related.

  16. It's almost winter here, so Christmas means bunches of fatty foods.

    Thursday is Thanksgiving! So the children are off school the rest of the week on break. :)

  17. Linda O'Connell; yes, I'm downunder, in South Australia. Our big department stores used to have window displays that people would line up to see, but there doesn't seem to be much of that any more. They tend to have all displays inside the store, with each having a Santa's Cave style area where you take your kids to be photograped with Santa. I much prefer the old animated window displays.

    Vicki; city stores tend to have more displays inside with only a tree visible through the doors. in years past they had big display windows with Christmas scenes set up in them, but not now.

    Marie; "people look at me as though I'm nuts..." I give the same look to people who insist on the full traditional hot turkey lunch in our climate. I love Christmas Carols too, but not when they are sung so slowly they might as well be funeral songs. I prefer them more upbeat and happy. Jingle Bell Rock is one of my favourites.

    Crystal Collier; welcome to drifting.
    You skipped lunch?? Better go and get a peach or two....I never skip lunch and have the fat bum to prove it.

  18. Mimsie; I hope you get to see the Christmas sights soon, hopefully your little car will be back with you soon. We don't have Christmas music in the stores yet, but it can't be far away, probably next week.

    Happy Elf Mom; Bunches of fatty foods are great in winter, they help to insulate you against the cold. I indulge in a few treats more suited to winter, but usually it's too hot to eat much at all. Our schoolkids are getting ready for the long summer break here.

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