Waiting…..Waiting for Christmas

by Elizabeth English

Herman and I finally locked our store and dragged ourselves home.  It was 11 p.m. Christmas Eve.  We’d sold almost all of our toys; and all of the layaway, except one package, had been picked up.  But the person who had put a dollar down on that package never appeared.

Early Christmas morning our 12 year old son, Tom, Herman and I were out under the tree opening up gifts.  But there was something humdrum about this Christmas.  Tom was grown up, and I missed his childish exuberance of past years.  As soon as breakfast was over, he left to visit friends and Herman disappeared into the bedroom, mumbling, “I’m going back to sleep.”

So there I was alone.  It was nearly 9 a.m.  Sleet mixed with snow cut the air outside.  “Sure glad I don’t have to go out on a day like today,” I thought to myself.  And then it began—something I’d never experienced before.  A strange, persistent urge.  “Go to the store,” it seemed to say.

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