Family style shopping

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

Would you believe it? I got most of my Christmas shopping done in two days.

I still have a few things to do, but it doesn’t amount to very much. My daughter-in-law, Tisha, and I left Monday morning and went to Southpark in Virginia. Just imagine our surprise when we got there and it was snowing. It didn’t last long or stick but it made it seem more like Christmas than the nearly hot weather we have had lately.

We shopped in the stores on the fringes of the mall so we were in the snow as we went from store to store. It was really pretty.

Just last week I wrote about Christmas shopping in Richmond when the snow was falling and then it snowed while we were shopping this week. Isn’t that amazing?

Thadd and Scott came to Virginia Monday night after they got off work and the four of us shopped on Tuesday. It was a lot more fun than shopping in the places you normally shop and it was fun having others to keep me company as I shopped.

Both days we ate lunch with my cousin Wayne. I have written many times about how we were raised together as brother and sister. That just made things perfect to be able to spend some time with him.

He works for himself since he retired. He worked many years for a gas company. Many people know him from those years and call on him to work on their heaters. It is the busy time of year for him, but he took several hours off each day to spend with us. It made a long workday for him. I really appreciated the fact that he thought enough of us to interrupt his day and then had to work late to finish.

The Southpark Mall is really dressed up for Christmas. There is a huge tree, a Santa Castle, a train ride for children, animated Christmas carolers and a Bear Symphony. If you haven’t seen it you should. If you have children they would really enjoy it, although I must tell you that the chairs in front of the Bear Symphony were filled with adults and no children when Thadd and I stopped by Tuesday. The conductor tells stories and talks to the audience, then turns and conducts the music. They have two females and one male bear who sing Christmas songs. After you have been shopping for a while and need to rest your feet, it is a refreshing stop.

If you go, shop around a bit before you buy. Many of the stores have nearly everything on sale for 40 to 50 percent off, including Christmas decorations. Many of them don’t have any sales. So if you shop wisely you can get some nice gifts at a good price.

I may have done myself a favor this year by waiting so long to shop. I got to spend time with my family and I got good bargains too. You never know when a blessing just might drop in your lap.