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From the Publisher's Desk – Excuse me, but I saw that item first (Dec. 23, 2015 issue)

Do you see what I see
Way up in that line my friend
Do you see what I see
The cars, the cars
Are strung out oh so far
Dashing red taillights
With a speed of utter fright
With a speed of utter fright
It is that time of year where lines of madness are forming everywhere. Time is running out as well as patience.
It is as if a huge master switch has been flipped to the “on” position and society starts moving instantly in unison. Young, old, rich, poor, healthy and sickly all respond to the call of urgency.
I have no problem with gift giving. For many it is the highlight of the year and a time to get something much needed. But, wouldn’t it be great if all of those determined shoppers were just as determined to be in church Sunday and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift ever? I am afraid that gift giving and holiday decorating have become the focus of the season.
Some people get in on the early sales for better deals. They will get out to shop no matter what time of night and will even stand in line before the store opens, to rush in the minute it does. Hmmmm, again, wouldn’t such eagerness and determination be wonderful at church to receive the greatest FREE gift ever?
Come to show some thanks for all of the priceless gifts you have been given all year such as the health you have, the family you have, the ability to shop and pay for things.
The guilt of not showing thanks for those priceless gifts hits me as well. I don’t stop enough to offer spiritual thanks for the abundance I take for granted. I often wonder how I would feel if the situation was turned around.
After I have given someone what I think is perfect for them, what if they didn’t show any appreciation, thankfulness or excitement? What if the next time I saw them they had tossed it out for old, felt it just didn’t fit them the way they wanted it to or didn’t fit into their life?
It would hurt. I would probably quit trying after awhile.
I truly appreciate the many, many organizations and individuals who consider those less fortunate during Christmas. We have a wonderful community with caring people who go above and beyond for good causes.
I try and put so much thought into gifts. I don’t mind the monetary amount, if it is within my budget, but I want the item to be special. I want to think of something that person needs and doesn’t even know it yet or that they would truly enjoy and keep. I want it to be something they use often and think of me when they do.
However, when it comes to me, I am a difficult person to shop for. It’s not that I am picky but I can’t offer any suggestions because I can’t think of a thing I want or need. I buy throughout the year if I can afford it and need it or like it.
For me the joy of Christmas comes through decorating, eating holiday foods, social gatherings and church events. I love the cantata, Christmas play, Advent candles, candlelight service and more. Erwin Presbyterian Church would gladly welcome you anytime and make you feel at home, just as they did me when I started several years ago.
Now, I still have a few small items to purchase, so let’s get back in those lines and finish up our shopping. Start early. McDonald’s drive thru will have a huge line, grabbing a morning biscuit on the way. The mall parking lot will be best maneuvered if you are driving something 4-wheel drive, since parking may need to be on a nearby grassy hillside.
Sizes will be scarce and some injuries may occur. Checkout lines will be long and frustrating. I wonder how many last minute gifts are bought in haste and have to be returned after Christmas. That gets into a repeat cycle of all the preholiday craziness. However, I have heard of some who don’t even start shopping until the last minute. Too much stress for me to take on.
I went to buy some Christmas cards earlier in the month and then had to go back one night last week. There was about one fourth of the selection left from the original amount. Many specialty cards were gone and many of those left were left for a reason. They are ugly.
Oh, and if you haven’t mailed those cards yet or need to buy stamps at the post office, bring additional food for strength as you wait in line. I know postal workers are pushed and stressed this time of year, but Erwin has one window open. I went before lunch last week and the line was too long. I went back after lunch and the line was even longer.
Lots of people are mailing packages which take additional time, especially if they haven’t filled out the information beforehand. And, what’s up with money orders at a post office? Really? Can’t we just concentrate on the mail?
I hope all of our readers have a happy and blessed Christmas. One of my great gifts is getting to reach you here every week and hearing from you when I see you in public.
If I run into you at the mall, say hello. I will be easy to spot. Just look for the exhausted person who probably got knocked down by a herd of desperate last minute shoppers.
To Target, to Belk’s, to Penney’s, and Lowe’s!
On VISA, on Master Card on credit it goes !
To the top of the escalator, to the second floor of the mall! Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!