Sunday, November 15, 2009

Early Christmas on time

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas at Neponset Circle. Though it's only mid-November and temperatures haven't yet hit the freezing point, a pine tree is standing tall in anticipation in one of Boston's more convoluted intersections. Dorcehster ends and Quincy begins at one point: Neponset. It is the only way to get directly there from here. It's also a mishmash of dedicated lanes, overpasses, blind turns, mixed signals and general confusion. Drivers navigate Neposet Circle's meanderings like rodents sniffing out Limburger. They can sense their goal but they can't see how to reach it beyond trial and error.

Little is pretty at Neponset Circle besides the cast iron clock. Now there is another cheerful feature. A Christmas tree has been set in the city's standard cast concrete, conical base, painted forest green with a spangle of gold stars stencilled on. Today is November 15. Will this pine tree last, evergreen, until December 25th? Will it last till Epiphany? There is no sign (surprisingly) giving credit to the mastermind who decided mid-November is time to start decking Boston's further flung neighborhoods with Yuletide trimmings. Anyone familiar with how the city is run has no doubt that the greenery has been set up under the aegis of the mayor, the history-making Thomas Menino. Long may he reign as the people's choice.

Perhaps someone mentioned during the recent mayoral campaign that they would like Christmas to come early to Neponset. The incumbent, comfortable at pulling the levers of power, replied, "I can make that happen." After Election Day, the word went down the chain of command and voila: a Christmas tree sits at the foot of Neponset Avenue. Better early than never.

The City of Boston wishes everyone en route to Quincy happy holidays, Thanksgiving included! Office pools have already started to pick the day a placard will be planted next to this tannenbaum. What will the sign say? That is subject for another pool but most bets rest on variations of "Season's Greetings from Mayor Thomas M. Menino." Those are words that warm the heart like cocoa heated a few degrees above tepid. Season's Greetings!

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