This evening, Carol and I went out to dinner at our favorite cheap Chinese sushi place. I kind of prefer going to Asian restaurants in December, because there’s a pretty good chance that I won’t see any holiday decorations, nor hear any holiday music. My hopes were fulfilled: no holiday decorations, no Christmas carols for background music. But the woman next to us was talking about making latkes. And then we went out after dinner and heard holiday music coming from the street: “Later on, we’ll conspire / As we dream by the fire / To face unafraid the plans that we’ve made….” It was the Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in downtown San Mateo. There was a firetruck. There were lots of families with children. There was a countdown, and Santa climbed up the ladder of the fire truck and flipped the switch to turn on the Christmas tree lights. An amateur choir sang “Silent Night,” accompanied by someone strumming a guitar. The kids were singing, but it wasn’t just kids singing because Carol said she saw one middle-aged woman standing by herself and singing along. I guess I might have hummed along a little bit; it was all kind of nice.