After an appointment downtown, Gerry and I head to Superstore to pick up some last minute Christmas things. Ordinarily,mi wouldn’t go to the grocery store on the Friday before Christmas (because crowds), but this is no ordinary year as we continue settling into our new home. As we’re driving into the parking lot, we spot our daughter driving out of it. She phones and warns me that it’s crazy in there, just as I suspected.
I’ve got a list and I stick to it—mostly. We’re still getting oriented to this store and it takes longer than it would otherwise. The aisles are crowded but everyone is smiling and making the best of it. I’m easily overwhelmed in situations like this, but make extra effort to remain calm and offer sincere smiles and greetings as we go.
Gerry unloads the groceries when we’re finally at the checkout, and I chat with a friendly woman in front of me about how once we’re moms we’re always moms and we don’t stop being concerned about our grown children. She’s quite delightful, and what could be a pressure cooker of an experience turns out to be anything but. She turns and waves as she follows her husband out of the store. “Merry Christmas!”
The woman running the till is equally delightful, telling me that she was up until 4am wrapping gifts because she’s heading to Regina to celebrate Christmas Eve with her son’s family after work. She fills me in on the rest of her plans for the holiday while scanning our groceries.
I end up leaving the store feeling lighter than when I entered, and grateful for the gift of festive folk on this last Friday before Christmas. We stop at our new favourite Maple Leaf Bakery on the way home for a few sweet treats and, predictability, it’s packed too. But it’s okay. Buoyed by the Superstore experience, and anticipating enjoying a Nanaimo Bar when we get home, the wait is a pleasant one.
Maybe I’ll have to rethink my “no shopping on the day before Christmas Eve” rule. Probably not, but this day showed me it can be fun after all.
Merry Christmas Eve, friends.