Christmas came early this year, judging by the stores stringing lights before Halloween and Black Friday shoppers stepping out before the turkey thawed.

“You see it and grab it before anyone else can get to it,” said one shopper in The Acadiana Advocate. “I don’t need two TVs, and I don’t plan on giving my kids all of these toys, but if I don’t, I may decide I want it and it won’t be there anymore.”

In the afterlife she could well be chained to those televisions, condemned to drag them throughout eternity like Marley’s ghost. Even so, it never hurts to be reminded once more of what really matters during the holidays.

Once upon a time, in all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve, I accepted a last-minute invitation to a holiday party. The host was a successful man, and the guests of this Christmas past were an eclectic mix: a bankruptcy attorney, a professor, a recent divorcee and others long forgotten.

It’s difficult not to have a good time with Dom Perignon, there really is no better company. But as I wished the host a Merry Christmas, he went rummaging in his pantry and returned, presenting me with a seven-pound silver bar. Apparently he kept them between the Cheerios and the Ritz Crackers. “Money’s not worth it,” he said. “The only thing this is good for is a doorstop.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’ll never know what prompted the gesture, perhaps he recognized a kindred soul or simply wanted me to deliver the message. But I can still see the looks on the guests’ faces, all of which read, what’s she got that I haven’t got?

That would be a $2,000 doorstop.

Merry Christmas.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Big spender

The minute you walked in the joint, you could see this was a party of distinction. Richard Young pulled inspiration from Old Blue Eyes for his annual holiday bash, and if Spencer Racca doesn’t channel Sinatra himself, we don’t know who does. Glamorous A-list guests in evening attire packed the Victorian’s event tent while Racca and sultry chanteuse Julie Williams flashed them back to the ’40s, including Jennifer LeBlanc, Nicole Eldarragi, Orleanian Esther Andre, Thomas and Garnet Lemaire, Raoul Blanco, bailarina Lou Britt, artist Bryan Lafaye and wife Valerie, and Dan Hare. Call us irresponsible, but we could have danced all night. What we loved: all the men in Sinatra fedoras, Renee Eldarragi’s reaction, and Cortland Young’s hug.

Here we go a-wassailing

Or rather the UL-Lafayette’s School of Music under the supervision of Dr. William Plummer did. Friends of Music held their annual Music & Merriment tour of homes, thanks to Sam and Terry Wofford, Daniel and Megan Domingue and Dr. Curtis Roy and Sharon Moss. No walking door to door for these party-hopping guests — a champagne trolley gave curbside service, and a good time was had by all, including Sue Golden, Beth Mouton, Mary K. Hamilton, Hope Hebert, Boni Ritter, Yvette Ferrari and friendly virtuoso Chan Kiat Lim. “I’ll probably do a concert here in the next year,” he said, making 2015 look all the brighter. All proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the university’s music students through scholarships. What we loved: Bayou Rum’s tasting cart at the Woffords, Mary K.’s compliments and Jennifer Jackson’s very entertaining party conversation.