My Countdown to Christmas
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This year, I decided that I would enjoy the week before Christmas.
Every year, the week before Christmas is full of last-minute trips to the mall and the grocery store. Each trip starts with a fight through the demolition derby, known as the parking lot, to inch my pick-up truck into a space originally meant for a mountain bike. I’ll then walk a mile and a half across the parking lot, dodging other drivers rushing to make claims on spaces hardly emptied by those trying to leave the chaos. Obtaining a cart is the next challenge. I’ll be angry with myself that I did not get one of the orphaned carts sitting in the parking lot. Standing in line while the door greeter continues to insist that the wait for a cart is only 30 minutes, her cheery disposition grates on my last nerve. She may think that 30 minutes is not a long wait, but she forgets that she is getting paid for her time by those of us in the line, willing to spend our time and money in this establishment.
Finally, with a cart in hand, it’s time to plow through the crowds and try to find what is written on the list. The top half is written neatly and easy to read, the bottom half are the scribbled items I thought of, or saw in exiting carts, that I realized I needed after all.
There is no meaning to the disorder as carts rush in and out of isles and move in opposite directions. Didn’t any of these people drive here and park in the parking lot? Why don’t they realize cart laws and traffic laws are the same? Or at least they should be. I take my life in my own hands dealing with this madness and confusion, which is turning the happy holiday season into a major holiday headache.
This year, I decided that I would enjoy the week before Christmas. It was not an easy task, but I was able to get the out-of-town boxes shipped, cards addressed and sent. Gifts are bought, wrapped and under the tree. The refrigerator is full of everything we will need for the week, I hope.
Now, I can sit back and enjoy a romantic roaring fire with my husband, watch my favorite holiday movie or read a book I’ve been anticipating. Maybe I’ll do a little baking – if I feel like it, or taking a walk around the neighborhood to look at all the lights. Of course, there will be the pleasure of having the grandchildren on Christmas Eve, and all peace and quiet will be shattered – for a while. But the joy of the empty nest is that the noise and chaos leave when the children do, and peace and quiet return with ease.
Oh, I am going to love this week before Christmas— right after I change the sheets in the guest room, make an 8-hour trip to pick up my son from the airport, and make one last trip to the grocery store to make sure I get all of his favorite foods.
More by this Author
This short story won Third Place in the 2010 - 2011 Alabama Federation of Women's Clubs, State Writing Competetion.
Grandmothers have a way of teaching life lessons in the simplest of ways. Ways that tend to stay with us throughout the years. My grandmother used her jigsaw puzzles to teach me about life and living.
Some moments in life take our breath away and linger in our memories forever. These are the moments that shape who we are and how we love.