I don’t know what I was thinking this evening when I had this thought:

“I think I’ll just run into Wal Mart.”

It was when I walked into the Rivergate Wal Mart on Christmas Eve Eve that I was reminded of a couple things:

I really have been a little “detached” from Christmas shopping this year. I’ve done some but not like I’ve done in years past.  That’s one of the pluses about the kids being older.  Teens have more expensive wishes, but, as a rule, it requires much less “put-togetherness”. 

Had I not been so detached from the Shoppingpalooza, I would have thought better than to go into Wal Mart at 7:00 on the 23rd of December.  Baaaaad choice.

The Rivergate Wal Mart IS the Armpit and Groin Lent of Nashville-Never in my life have I smelt as strong an odor of cigarette smoke and seen more women in DIRE need of root touchups, poor grammar, baggy britches….it’s good in ‘da hood, boys and girls.

This whole holiday season has been a plethora of visiting with old friends.  I got to visit a little bit today with my good friend from 3rd and 4th grade, Kelly and loved seeing her and her kids. 009

Look at her beautiful, blue eyes, y’all.  I had forgotten how blue her eyes were.   (Note to self…scan photos of Dance Recital in 1978 in which Kelly and I both wore heinous costumes to give readers a REALLY good belly laugh)

Kelly gave me this Woodstock Christmas ornament in 1979 and it has hung on my Christmas tree every year since.  It’s made of some sort of ceramic and I’m really surprised it hasn’t broken in all these years.  One of my favorite ornaments. 

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Stuff like getting to visit with Kelly today are the things I love most about Christmas.  Forget the standing in line at Wal Mart and busting your bank account….for me, besides the whole Jesus’ Birthday thing, it’s about getting to visit with the Kelly’s in our lives and remembering.

I went out to Cool Springs tonight for a gathering of people who went to Brentwood and Franklin High Schools (thank you for organizing, Paige!) courtesy of Facebook. 

I ran into a kid I have not seen since probably 6th grade. 

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 Donald and I were in Elementary school together all the way through, but, I remember him being in my  5th grade class, especially.   I told him that one of my most warmest, fuzziest memories of childhood, (back when life was good, before the dreaded Puberty Monster hit, before cancer, car accidents came and I got hip to realities of life ) was at Christmas that year, our entire class went to Donald’s house and then went caroling. 

 Donald’s mom was one of these just fabulous, June Cleaver kinda moms, and that evening is one of those things I’ve always remembered and often wished I could escape back into.  He had no recollection of the event at all, but,  I told him to be sure and tell his Mama I’ve always remembered being in her home at Christmastime. 

THAT is the kinda feeling I’ve always tried to create at Christmas with my own family.  Just like what was in my home, especially those last few days before Christmas.   Warm, fuzzy, magical…the lights all seem to have a different glow. 

I’m praying that my kids, even though this Christmas has found our lives rearranged and different…I hope there is still some of that element for them.

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