My favorite Christmas story, besides The Birth, is Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Yesterday a certain scene from the book (and movie) came to mind as I wound my way up and down the aisles of our local grocery store, Hannaford. For once I was not in a particular hurry – you know – frantically ticking off the items on my list, my mind set on what I had to do once I got home. So I had time to look around. And, OH, the riches!
In the scene that popped into my head, Scrooge is about to encounter the Ghost of Christmas Present who is resplendent in “a simple, deep green robe bordered in white fur.” And at the feet of the ghost, “heaped up on the floor to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, suckling pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince pies, plum puddings, barrels of oysters, red hot chestnuts, cherry cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth cakes, seething bowls of punch that made their chamber dim with their delicious steam."
Okay, our local Hannaford falls a bit short of Dickens’ Horn of Plenty description in not stocking suckling pigs, but they do a great job of bringing the season forward for us. And it’s epidemic across the land, in supermarkets and grocery stores all over the country; this insistence on joining in the celebratory practices of the people they serve. I’m amazed that all of the people at the various corporate offices have read A Christmas Carol and seek to imitate the glorious bounty described therein.
So I lingered in the fruit and veggie aisle, inhaling the citrus-y smells of the oranges and lemons, the earthy aromas of the potatoes and cabbages. I marveled at the loads of cheeses and spiced meats and jaunty Santa Clause hats on the scales at the deli counter. In the drinks aisle the red and green bottles of Coke and Sprite shouted a cheery “hello” to me all in their holiday array. The end cap in the breads and roll section sported Little Debbie Christmas cakes liberally done up with colored sprinkles for the children. When I got to the eggnog I swooned. A dash of rum and nutmeg with a pillow of whipped cream on top danced in my head.One day I'm going to try the caramel flavor. In the candy aisle I picked up a chocolate snowman as a little gift for my hairdresser. And there was great joy at the checkout (for Hannaford anyway) as the cashier rang up an additional ten items I hadn’t really intended to buy. I was in the thrall of the bounty and Dickens, after all.
It kind of made my day to wander through the harvest so to speak. It’s all given by the gracious hand of our Lord who deigned to be born among us in the bleak mid-winter and bids us remember why He did so. That realization comes later, but for now I (and I hope you) will bask in the glory of all we’ve been given and do our best to pass it on. God bless us every one.
That’s my commercial for Christmas. Thank you, Ghost of Christmas Present and Mr. Dickens, too!
Image: Free Digital Photos