The Sunday before Christmas

’Twas the Sunday before Christmas and all through the land.

People were scurrying about with cash and credit cards in hand.

Less than a week before Santa and his reindeer take to the sky,

And still they had found nothing for Aunt Bess or cousin Guy.

But not to worry, there was still plenty of time for Christmas shopping,

That’s why Macon Mall and The Shoppes at River Crossing were hopping.


With profound apologies to the memory of Clement Clarke Moore, we stop the rhyming now to provide a report of some of the sights and sounds of holiday shopping Sunday afternoon in Macon.

Even the chill wind blowing through the parking lots of area malls and shopping centers could do little to cool the enthusiasm of Christmas shoppers out for the home stretch of their season’s chore of finding just the right gift for that special someone.

Or at least getting something to put under the tree for everyone on their list.

And the ball coach, who appeared lost in the Belk store at The Shoppes at River Crossing, had quite a list to buy for, their names printed small on front and back of his sheet.

How many had he checked off so far?

“Only a couple,” he admitted. “I just started my shopping today.”

He had no hope of finishing Sunday.

“I’ll have to come back Monday and Tuesday, too, probably. I always wait too late to start.”

Down the street, sitting on a bench outside a shoe store, bags piled at their feet, a couple took a break from their shopping. The man took a drag on his cigarette and let it out with an exasperated question.

“We’ve got everyone else, so what do you want?”

“Jimmy,” his wife answered, “I don’t need anything.”

Another drag, and more exasperation.

“Susan, you don’t give me some idea, you’re gonna get your feelings hurt. You know I gotta buy you something, and I don’t know what to get.”

Ouch. Sound familiar?

Strolling along, the sounds of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and “Come, Let Us Adore Him” flowing from the speakers provide a new infusion of Christmas spirit for weary shoppers.

Until their feet begin to hurt. Then the taggers-along find a bench or head over to Barnes & Noble Booksellers for a coffee and muffin. Later they can be seen going back out, their cell phones to their ears.

“So where are you now? OK, I’ll head that way.”

Across town at the Macon Mall, there is still a line of more than a dozen families waiting to have pictures made with Santa, much to the dismay of a blond-headed little boy with mom holding one hand and grandmother the other.

“Mama, I don’t want to get in line.”

“Well, I’m getting in line, so you have to, too.”

Thirty minutes later, his frown finally becomes a smile when it’s his turn to sit in Santa’s lap.

Two older boys, obviously brothers, walk by discussing the merits of video games.

“You don’t want to get that, it’s worthless,” says the oldest.

“No it’s not. Justin has one, and he says it is awesome,” answers little brother.

“Oh, well, maybe it’d be OK,” says big brother.

Not sure who Justin is, but he must be a video game expert to overrule a big brother.

Down at Sears, a man is trying to choose between toasters.

Two slices or four? White plastic or brushed chrome finish?

“We were fixing breakfast this morning, and the toaster wouldn’t heat. I hadn’t bought my wife anything yet, so I said, ‘Now I know what I can get you.’ ”

His wife apparently is a very good sport, or she loves toast.

“All she said was, ‘be sure you get a pretty one.’”

Isn’t that grand. Say, Jimmy, does Susan like toast?

To contact writer Chuck Thompson, call 923-6199, extension 235.