Saturday morning I headed out early to run a few errands. I wanted to pick up a few things for the kids. I headed to a couple of stores a few towns over. I thought I went out early enough to beat the Saturday shopping crowds but evidently everyone had the same idea. The first store I went into had shiny Christmas displays of decorations and things right at the window, so you know I had to go in. Completely distracted from my original mission I spent over an hour browsing through aisles of gifts and goodies. In one little corner was a sad and lonely small shelf with little bits of marked down Halloween stuff. Can Halloween have past already? Sheesh. Where does the time go? While browsing and being squished into an aisle of interesting decor, a woman in front of me pointed to this gigantic green wreath-looking thing made of feathers and, laughing, said something to her husband in what I believe was Italian. She and I looked at each other, obviously both amused by the shimmy-shaking-green-feather-wreath thingie. Only one word came to my mind when I saw it and I said it out loud. "Grinch." The couple began to giggle while the husband began to hum 'You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch' and we all laughed. I left there thankful that some things, especially Christmas things, are just understood by all in any language.
After leaving that store I went to the Walmart next door. I always feel like a deer in the headlights when I go into these big stores. It is like shopping overload. I started looking for what I had gone out for in the first place. I finally based my decision on choosing the item that was made in the USA even though it cost a few dollars more. It made me sad that 9 out of 10 items I saw are not manufactured here anymore. I wandered over to the CD's. I have an addiction to holiday CD's. I can't resist buying them. I even saw one in the Post Office the other day when I was mailing out a commissioned piece. I'm sure I'll add that one to my collection soon too. I don't even know what songs are on it. Somebody stop me. I had 3 in my hand that day, the new ones by Andrea Boccelli, David Archuleta and Josh Groban. I went with Andrea Boccelli's but something tells me I'll be back for the others or will order them online. At the check out, I had the nicest chat with the check out lady. She couldn't wait to buy this CD as well and we talked for a few minutes about how much we love his voice and then about other Christmas CD's. I left there thankful for a pleasant check out lady who seemed to enjoy her day. I'm sure everyone who met her that day was a little better for it.
That evening, I went to see the new 3D movie A Christmas Carol. Check out their website for some fun online games and things. The computer animation is incredible. As soon as I heard that Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth were in it, I knew I would see it. Go and see it if only to get to wear the 3D glasses. Make sure you turn around in your seat to get a look at everyone wearing theirs. It is something silly that you don't get to see every day. On the way home I realized that the last song, "God Bless Us Everyone," on the Andrea Boccelli CD I had bought earlier in the day is in the end credits of the film. One of my favorite film versions of A Christmas Carol is A Muppet Christmas Carol, but whether you read the original Dickens ghost story or watch one of the many 'Scrooge' films, the timeless message is the same. Guard against Want and Ignorance. Remember those less fortunate than yourself. Be compassionate. Be joyful. Redemption...where there is life, there is hope. Keep Christmas in your heart not just on Christmas Day but all year through. Be thankful.
Today is Veteran's Day here in America. My heart is full of love, thanks and appreciation for all who have served in our military, from colonial days to the present. You make it possible for us to spend our days in freedom, shopping for Grinchy feather wreaths and Christmas CD's. You gave us the freedom to be able to sit in a theater wearing silly glasses or whatever else we choose. We are truly the land of the free because of the brave. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. xo xo -CS ^..^