Now that Thanksgiving is tucked conveniently away in freezerbound Tupperware and I’ve sewn the button back on my accidently expanding waistband, I can look forward to my favorite December pastime; counting down the days until Christmas. There is a complicated formula involving a calendar and a red marker that I could use, but I prefer the new math method. I count the number of sales flyers in the newspaper and divide by how many gifts I have left to buy.
Many of the area retailers have been infused with a generous helping of the Christmas spirit since the eve of the autumnal equinox, but I’m very firm about leaving the Christmas goodies on the shelves until the last of October’s candy corn is gone and the turkey leftovers have disappeared into the Dachshund. There’s something about toting red and green wrapped gifts home in a Frankenstein Trick or Treat bag that takes away the festive air of the whole project.
So I’ve been out this week, taking in the sights and sounds of Christmas. I noticed that “Debit or Credit” is the greeting of choice around town. Waffle House must be the only place left that still takes cash. They have to have something to give the folks behind the mask during the twelve days of armed robberies.
I got all my Christmas shopping done at a store that advertised cut-rate sale prices on all the merchandise. A perky sales clerk in a Santa hat rang up my purchase. When she hit the Total button, the machine started flashing like a jackpot winner on a slot machine. I guess a long list of cheap stuff still turns into a big bill. Especially when they add the state’s share at the end.
As I looked around the store, my eyes reflecting the soft glow of the cash register’s LEDs, I saw the walls were festooned with greetings for every holiday from Christmas to Kwanzaa. Now that we’re all celebrating different things this time of year, there’s only one greeting that still applies to everybody.
Peace on Earth.