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A priceless life

I love Christmas shopping. It’s a time of joy and enjoying family, but stressful shoppers may get in your way.
As my December calendar has filled up, I’ve discovered I’ve eaten too much and spent money I should have saved. I’ve made lists, marked things off, and ran around like a chicken with its head cut off. Or like a crazy woman in need of one more gift.

I keep going back to the store for additional wrapping paper, tape, ingredients for cookies, or something I’ve forgotten.

To make things worse, I’m faced with an onslaught of congested roads and long lines. The slow drivers consistently pull in front of me, and when I show kindness by allowing a merging car onto the road, another ten people think they can pull out too.

One year, I started my holiday shopping early by getting up at dawn the day after Thanksgiving. A department store, one I love to buy clothes at, had advertised a great sale. So my sister and I headed out, and the checkout lines were horrendous. But the bargains were worth the wait. Or so we thought.

After scooping up our goodies, we picked one of the long lines. My sister got out of line to shop for a purse while I held our place. When she returned, we switched places. And I came back with a purse too. Matching purses too. 
Yes, our arms were full. Our feet hurt. And we were tired. But we’d had fun digging through the sales.
After forty-five minutes of inching forward, we neared the register, and I saw a rack of holiday sweatshirts. I squeezed past the glares to check them out.

One woman called to me, “Is there a large up there?” I handed her a gray one with a red bell embroidered on it.
A teenage girl hollered, “I’d like a red one. Is there a medium?” I tossed her a red shirt decorated with a green tree.

I passed a green shirt to the woman in the back, one with a snowman on it. 
Then my sister got a blue one with a red stocking on the front, and so did I. A couple in another line asked for two white shirts with wreaths, so I tossed them the shirts.

I was beginning to think I worked as a sales clerk. I sold several holiday shirts for the store that day. A huge discount at the checkout counter should have come my way. But of course, it didn’t.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it helps to entertain the crowd when you’re stuck in line. I met many nice people that day, finished my shopping, and even got a new purse.

So if you’re dealing with stress, hit your reset button. Don’t sweat the small stuff or the long lines because a great bargain is probably waiting for you by the register.

And try to have a good time. Fun is around the corner if you’re willing to engage with those around you. Don’t isolate yourself. Toss someone a shirt and watch out for the Looney Tune folks who are shopping next to you because you might see me.

I can always use another accomplice for such outings too. So call me when you return that oversized top or ugly sweater after Christmas, and let’s celebrate by going shopping for special deals. 

But please, do pause on Christmas Day when you pass out the presents from beneath the tree. Give thanks to Jesus. Spend time at the manger with Him. And remember why you get dressed up and decorate your house each year. His birth is the best gift ever. Better than a purse or new shirt. Or bargain. His life is priceless! Always! 

Bowie County Citizens Tribune

139 E.N. Front Street
New Boston, Texas 75570