From the New York Public Library, 1914
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado (Getty Images)
Last CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.  

Is Christmastime actually here already?

I have lived here in Chicago my whole life, and somehow every year winter comes and kicks my ass like I’m from the tropics and I’ve never gone through it before. On Sunday I looked at the week’s weather, saw a prediction for snow by the end of the week, and frantically went online to order parkas and gloves, etc. for my offspring (thank you, Land’s End 40-percent off sale), who of course had outgrown last year’s editions. (Boots are still to come.) Sure enough, the snow arrived today to the delight of some people (kids) and not so much for others (mostly everyone else). Thanksgiving is a week from Thursday. Is it any wonder that the local holiday music station has turned over as well?

Every year, Chicago’s 93.9 FM (along with other stations across the country), switches to holiday music from now until January 2. This year, it happened yesterday, on November 8. Sure, that means that about 1/6 of the year is taken up by holiday music. But last night, driving my kid home from soccer in the dark after a particularly tough (and chilly) loss in a playoff game, when the piano and brushes of Vince Guaraldi came on, eight weeks didn’t even seem like enough time to enjoy it.

So maybe I’m on board a little early. If this means I finally finish my Christmas shopping before December 1 like I aim to every single year, I’m all for it. I have no doubt that November Christmas music naysayers will now let me have it in the comments. Happy very early holidays to you all. [Gwen Ihnat]