Monday, December 16, 2013

So this is Christmas...Shopping

Christmas is almost here. Due to the diligent planning of my wife, we have finished shopping. I think there may be a couple of odd gift cards to special stores that need to be acquired, but the bulk of the shopping is  done. In fact, Beloved is so on top of the situation, she has the presents wrapped already.

Getting shopping and wrapping done early is a very good, but very exhausting, thing. In fact, everything about the holiday season is tiring. The longer nights and shorter days, the rushing hither and thither to visit family, the cooking and baking-- and squeezing that into the cracks between three jobs--all of it tends to tire me out. In all of that coming and going and doing, we sometimes forget to enjoy the Advent season. For my family, there will be church services, holiday parties, and we will find one night to go out and look at Christmas lights. Hopefully we will be able to spend one night drinking hot chocolate and speaking to one another in our best English accents. And, if we are very fortunate, Middlest will serenade us with an operatic rendition of the mundane activities of the day.

Speaking of Middlest, she is involved with “Service Club” at her high school. The entire purpose of this club is to be of service to the community. This year, the entire school donated money for the service club to buy Christmas presents and food for some disadvantaged families that live in the district.

And that meant more shopping.

So Saturday, after working until 2 AM, I took Middlest and two of her friends out to the stores. There I was with three teenage girls, shopping. This could have disastrous consequences. I tried to distance myself from them, under the guise of allowing these young adults the freedom to make their own choices and be productive members of society, without the intrusion of one of their parents.

The real reason I moved to a different part of the store was-- honestly-- three girls shopping! After an hour or so of wandering aimlessly in the wasteland of consumerism, I found a chair and tested it out. Finding it quite comfortable, I relaxed. And after what seemed to me a brief rest, a sales person who was stocking shelves nearby made a comment about my having a nice nap.

Feeling a bit embarrassed I began to search for my three shoppers. I finally found the three girls, delightfully shopping away, but not quite done. After another couple of hours, they were finally ready to check out. When we approached the registers, the sales associate who noticed my sleeping, was manning the cash register. She looked at the three girls and asked them if they found everything they were looking for. Then she looked at the two carts, loaded with toys, and her eyes widened a bit. Then she looked at me. I could see a flicker of recognition in her eyes. Then a look of  understanding crossed her face and with her eyes wide, she said, “Ah-ha, now I totally understand.”

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