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Friday, December 9, 2005

How Many Days Until Christmas

It hit me on Wednesday, while I was driving home with my little boy and the precipitation on my windshield was turning to ice, that Christmas is just a few days away. What makes this revelation worse is that I still have not done my Christmas shopping. Although the Christmas list is relatively short, I am still without ideas of what do get.

Austin had a major ice storm on Wednesday night that prevented many from going to work or school the following day. So, my son and I were one of the many who couldn’t leave home because everything was iced.

After about two o’clock, we finally made it outdoors. Since we couldn’t do much of anything, and since Christmas is just a few days away, this became a perfect opportunity for Christmas shopping. We dressed in our heaviest jackets, got in the car, and proceeded to escape the ever-building cabin fever.

Few motorists were on the road, which is always pleasant. But my curiosity of the close-to-empty roads came to an end when we got to the Wal-Mart down the road. Everyone—and I mean everyone—was at Wal-Mart. The aisle in the electronics department was impassable. The baby department was packed too. And forget going through the toys department; there were kids running around and parents chasing after them.

The checkout lines seemed endless. Although the Christmas music from the store’s intercom plays to entertain the customers while they shop or wait in extensively long lines, the tunes were often interrupted with “price check needed,” or “customer assistant needed,” or “cleanup needed,” or kids crying and screaming because they didn’t get the toy the wanted. And while we wait, I was debating whether or not my son needed another toy car.

By the time we reached the cashier, my son had thrown the toy car he was happily playing with overboard. At that point, I realized he indeed did not need another toy car.

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