It’s usually against my better judgment to go to Walmart on a Sunday at noon. There are just too many people. That said, I really needed to get a few things and hadn’t managed to go before then. My strategy was to go in and out through the garden center entrance. I knew there would be only one register open there but there was seldom a line. I found the items I needed and headed to the register. As I approached, I could see there was nobody in line. A sign advertising all Christmas items 50% off caught my eye. I diverted from my path to the register to get some wrapping paper for next year. Heck, it was 50% off.
As I headed back to the register, there was a woman ahead of me putting items on the conveyor belt. She was my age, Hispanic, and well dressed with long brown hair. I looked at her cart to see how long the wait would be. It was filled with little Christmas items. There must have been twenty Santa hats and tons of those headbands that have reindeer antlers on them. Her basket was filled with novelties that the lone cashier would have to individually scan. Suddenly my strategy of using the garden center entrance was not working out so well. I groaned internally. I wanted to be home for the start of the Patriots game.
“You certainly seem ready for next Christmas.” I said to the woman.
“Oh this?” she replied. “This is for the children in my country. They are very poor and have never had a real Christmas. Next year when I go home for Christmas, I will bring this to them. They will have a good Christmas.”
“Where are you from?” I asked
“Columbia. I just flew back on the 26th. The town I am from is very small. We never had Christmas when I was a girl. But next year the children in my town, they will know Christmas.”
While the clerk scanned all of the items, she told me about her village in Columbia and life there. The Patriots game became a minor concern. Her total was around $80. That’s a lot of novelty Christmas items, but they’ll bring a lot of smiles.
Happy New Year.