On the eve of Thanksgiving, my mom and I made a trip to Walmart for the items on the bottom of my grocery list. I needed to pick up a few more things to pull off the culinary masterpiece I would prepare the next day. On our way out of Walmart, I rented a few movies from the Red Box. I thought a few movies would be the perfect half time between the tryptophan slumber and the cheesecake sugar rush. Tommy steeped in the brining solution while my parents and I watched the first movie that night.
I cooked for 4 hours straight Thanksgiving morning. I missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the National Dog Show. The oven could barely keep up with my fury. I did Paula Deen proud with 2 1/2 lbs. of butter, 2 dozen eggs, and a pint of whipping cream. My feet and back ached, but it was a sacrifice worth the end. Herb roasted turkey, real mashed potatoes, homemade GF corn bread stuffing, Campbell’s green bean casserole with a parmesan cheese surprise, sweet potato casserole, GF corn souffle and pumpkin cheesecake with dark chocolate pecan crust. Thanks be to God for the abundance on my table.
After a piece of pumpkin cheesecake, my parents hit the road back to Ohio. I needed to return my movies to the Red Box. Their curfew was 9:00 pm. When I pulled into the parking lot, I realized I was just in time for the pre-Black Friday sale. As I pulled into a parking spot in the back 20, I finally saw the vision of the engineer who designed the Walmart parking lot. It always seemed to be twice as big as needed. For the 2011 10 pm pre-Black Friday sale, it would not be big enough.
I decided to take a stroll around the store after returning the movies in the box. I was shocked! Utterly amazed! Lines of people wrapped around the fruit and vegetable area, but they were not waiting for a special on the Very Veggie Salad Mix. A bright yellow vest caught my eye. Walmart workers donned flourescent yellow vests market “Event Staff” and walkie talkies as they stood guard over the $4.97 Faded Glory jogging pants and $10 Color Workshop eye color set. Shoppers were sitting on the floors or leaning on their shopping carts near the plastic wrapped flat of whatever their heart desired.
After a walk around the perimeter of the store, I headed for the door. I was nearly mowed down by a woman. She was talking on her cell phone, motioning her daughter toward Customer Service, and holding up an index finger signaling to a friend that she needed a minute. She yelled acrossed the store, “I HAVE TO PEE!”
When did Christmas shopping become an event? Christmas is the event.
Giving gifts at Christmas is a long Christian tradition. We may think of St. Nicholas as the father of Christmas giving. Rather, it was the 3 Magi. They gave the Christ child gifts to celebrate his birth. We follow that wise gift-giving tradition when we give thoughtful, heartfelt presents wrapped in bright paper with fluffy bows.
May we not follow the blue light,
May we follow the Light of the World,