December 24, 2013

Merry Crustacean

One of the great things about Christmas is the wealth of iconic symbols that have come to be associated with the holiday - jolly old Santa, wreaths of holly leaves, the Christmas tree - even a team of smelly reindeer.

It's just not Christmas until plastic recreations of these symbols, painstakenly produced by the thousands in the sweatshops of Asia, start popping up in shop windows and on the front lawns of suburbia all across America. I get weepy and nostalgic just thinking about it.

But none of these symbols says Christmas, of course, more than the bright red Dungeness Crab. You can hang your stockings by the chimney with as much care as you like, but at our house, the Christmas season hasn't really arrived until a couple of two-pounders are in the kitchen sink.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Many prefer the traditional pile of oysters for their yuletide meal. This too has become a staple in many parts of the country at Christmas:

And some eccentrics in places like the midwest even savor a Christmas ham or turkey. I guess there's no accounting for some tastes.

But I hold some traditions dear. In their universal acceptance, I find strength. A plate of sweet Dungeness crab by the Christmas tree

and I feel confident that no matter how this world is wracked by strife and upheaval, that some solid core values will endure.

Merry Crustacean, everyone.