Mucking about the local mall early Friday morning, a time despite the holiday season when only the hub stores are open and the Silver Sneakers mall walkers lapped me at a brisk pace, I searched for Christmas spirit. It was too early for small children turned out in their most smashing Christmas clothing; rushed to Santa’s Wonderland to perch on his lap for picture perfection.
The sole customer in Fye, aware of the holiday deals on movies and video games had already checked out but could not get past the incessant beep of the security gates. The flustered cashier, the only employee about, kept calling her back to find second, third, and fourth security tags on her handful of purchases. The fifth try was obviously the charm.
I passed along gated stores with fashionably posed mannequins, their hips askew, legs elongated, classically leaned back at the waist enough to give illusion of shoulder action—headless yet clothed in the latest styles. I wondered who might have had the misfortune to dress them in the lifeless clothing, these days in material so thin as to require three or more layers just to cover some skin.
The hobbling cashier in Bath & Body Works was so cheerful, despite the medical boot on her left foot. I was her first customer, and imagined she might be a bit less cheery in a few short hours. I commented on her fortitude, working a stand-up job in her condition over holidays. Smiling even so, with a plan to decorate her boot with battery-operated lights, upon check out she handed me a couple of buttons; one with a reindeer and the other a dreidel. I giggled at her cheer and the dreidel for its lack of Christmas-ness, and marked Hanukkah-ness.
I passed the mandatory high-priced coffee shop, complete in its seen-one-seen-em-all space on my way to the JCPenney at the south end. It was there where I found my Christmas spirit. It wasn’t the boxed game of Mystery Date.
There she was. A vision in blinking, sparkling and reflective light as she busily loaded a clothing rack in the misses apparel department. I requested a photo of one MaryLou, a living, breathing cornucopia of personified Christmas cheer. To my delight, she cheerfully agreed and together we sought the Christmas shoppe setting on the second floor.
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”