Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sights and Sounds of Christmas

The semester is over! At exactly 4:14 Thursday afternoon I turned in my grades. What have I been doing since then? I’m not really sure. All I know is that we have made three trips to the airport in the last twenty four hours; everyone is coming home for the Christmas break and I have done very little, well actually, I have done nothing to get ready for the holidays.

In an effort to remedy that sad situation, we went to one of the big malls in Dallas yesterday. It was full of people, mostly happy people. There were a few kids who, by their wailing, made it clear that they had had enough shopping, but for the most part everyone was enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday hustle and bustle. The entire mall was beautifully decorated. Greenery, lights, bows, and shiny Christmas balls were everywhere. On every wing a different group sang familiar Christmas carols, instrumentalists gave their own renditions of these same tunes, and ballerinas twirled to the sounds of The Nutcracker. Despite the fact that I am in a mild state of panic due to my lack of preparation for Christmas, I could not help but to be happy too. I was even happier when I left the mall because we actually bought a few gifts.

Amidst all of this, we did see a couple of puzzling Christmas sights.

1. As we approached the busy intersection where the mall is situated, there stood Santa on the corner – wearing sunglasses and holding a placard advertising that he installed home Christmas decorations. Does he really have time to do that right now? Shouldn’t he be making his list and checking it twice? Shouldn’t he be making sure that the elves aren’t spending their working hours on Facebook, Twitter, or Shouldn’t he be negotiating a bulk discount with Apple for all of the iTouches, iPhones, and iPads that are on everyone’s Christmas lists? Surely he should not be trimming the columns on people’s porches to look like peppermint sticks or draping strings of lights around animated reindeer. What is he thinking?

2. Then there was the U-Haul truck parked in two parking spaces. Except for the fact that we couldn’t find one parking space, I don’t have a problem with taking two parking spaces, I have a problem with driving a U-Haul truck to the mall. Who has that much shopping to do? I want to meet the person who buys that many gifts. Maybe they were planning to shoplift the $14,000 model train that is on display.

3. There was also a school bus parked out front. I’m sure it was an economics class from a local high school working on an end of the semester project - If you max out mom and dad’s credit card, and pay them back by making the minimum monthly payment, can you pay off the debt before you reach social security age? Or maybe it was a statistics class trying to determine what percentage of the stuff in all of those stores is actually needed by any of us. Or perhaps a physical fitness class was building endurance by walking round and round the mall until they found the exact thing they were looking for for just the right price. Score!!

After our day at the mall, I have purchased a few gifts. I have not put up the tree or cleaned where the tree will eventually go. I have not figured out exactly what I am giving some people on my list. I have not finished my Christmas cards. But, I am in the Christmas spirit. My feelings of holiday cheer do stem from my adventure at the mall and the fact that I don’t have to go to school tomorrow!!!!