We went shopping today in Collin Creek Mall, Plano's older, traditional mall. No crowds oppressed us. I like the hermit crab kiosk, where tons of hermit crabs in little silly shells are on sale. A toddler kept pointing at one shell and saying "that one! that one!", so the kiosk vendor picked up the shell and brought it to the toddler. Upon seeing the incoming crab, the toddler cried "No! No!". He did not need to experience the crab to have faith it was a crab. My wife asked the kiosk keeper what hermit crabs eat, and she said "crab chow--it has all their essential nutrients". The only place I ever learned more euphemistic information was from a computers guy at CompUSA who years ago assured us that "a laptop was outmoded technology" and that he could not even communicate with us unless we asked for a "notebook".
We went to Lenscrafters, where a kind woman graciously fixed my bifocals. I had been subsisting on older glasses for a few weeks because my bifocals had a screw loose. i need a new prescription as I need stronger reading lens for the far-sighted "bottom" portion.
We stopped by Shady Oak barbecue and had chicken, which was quite good. We stopped by Petsmart, but upon viewing their aquarium stands, decided we have a table at home just as good at no extra cost. We saw more shoppers in the pet place than in the mall. Everyone wassails their dogs and cats now. A huge st. bernard size furry fellow in line behind us, towing a blonde woman the width of a pretzel, showed with a magnificient smile that he thought dog treats were good holiday gifts.
We stopped in Garden Ridge, a store of plastic plants and odd crafts, where the nativity sets were half off, and picked up a charming creche set for less than ten dollars. They had a "blue light" giveaway promotion, which, as near as I could hear from a ways off, was really a subtle promotion for an expensive way to use the gift item in a bigger machine. I love the way that Garden Ridge has every fake flower, ficus and fern known to man. We stopped in the remaindered bookstore, where I bought a book of poetry and a book of Dorothy L. Sayers religious writings.
I sat down at home long enough to see the Kris Kringle talks in Dutch to a Dutch refugee portion of the original "Miracle on 34th Street", which can often make me cry, but tonight simply made me feel good. Then I went out shopping for one more gift for my wife. I did not find the ideal gift, though I did pick up a copier/fax/printer combo she's been needing when she works on her computer.
I stopped in Dollar Tree to get a gift sack for the printer. I found they also had a one dollar artificial desktop Christmas tree and a one dollar packet of mini-ornaments, as well as a really charming one dollar eight inch high Santa. I got them to add a little Christmas color to our celebration, as we had but stockings up. We've both been working hard this December, and did not put up our usual cut tree. They did not have a huge gift sack, so I made do with a "throw away your tree" sack and a bow.
In the car, I listened to my holiday CD.
We went to dinner at Brazos steakhouse with my brother's family, where my wife gave my 12 year old nephew a much-welcomed gift of a tin of home-baked gingerbread cookies. I had a ribeye steak. My nephew is performing in choir at his church at 10 p.m., and my wife and I plan to attend. I asked him if I could bring a cigarette lighter, rock-concert style, and wave it over my head while waiting for the show. I seem to have scored a big hit on the bashful-o-meter as the uncle-who-does-not-quit with that line of teasing. in the event, I will wear a bright holiday tie and refrain from demonstration.
We came home, where I put the tiny tree and Santa on the fireplace mantle, and hung the tiny green ornaments. Then my wife opened her new gift. We have other presents to open, which we'll save until later.
This was a quiet, very good day. I am still weary and under the weather, but it was a good time nonetheless.