A couple of nights ago, I planned to do some ‘serious’ Christmas shopping. I was already in town, and was by myself (!), so I thought I could knock some shopping off of my list. I have completed about .0128 percent of my Christmas shopping, so I was ready to batten down the hatches and get serious. I put my night vision googles on (not really) and headed into the mall.
And then I ran into my mamaw.
Let me tell you a little about my mamaw first. She’s my momma’s mom. And she is a hoot. She’s 67 years old, going on 21. She’s got more energy and spunk than most teenagers. And she’s the most giving person I’ve ever met. She would literally give you the clothes off of her back. She’s always thinking of others. I don’t know a more good-hearted woman.
My mamaw is single, and has lived by herself for years. I’ve always wanted her to find someone because I didn’t want her to grow old by herself, but she seems to be content where she is. That doesn’t stop us from ‘babe-watching’ at the mall together though 😉
When I first saw her at the mall, my inclination was to run before she saw me. Not because I didn’t want to see her or spend time with her (she lives next door for pete’s sake), but because I had ‘serious’ shopping to do, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it done with her. Anyone who knows my mamaw knows she loves to eat. The woman can eat more than Ben, and she has the body and figure of a 20 year old. It’s ridiculous. I knew if I stopped and talked to her, she would want to take me to eat. I didn’t have time for that. I had ‘serious’ shopping to do, people!
But I felt a little tug at my heart when I saw her at the perfume counter by herself. So I went up and poked her on the shoulder. She turned around and squealed. She asked me what I was doing at the mall (I don’t know, herding elephants?) and then she said, “let’s go eat!” See? I told you.
I told her I would just have a quick snack, but then I needed to go because I had some ‘serious’ shopping to do. She said that was fine, we’d just grab a quick bite so I could get on my way. So we headed out through the mall to find some food.
“Let’s just run in here at this shoe store real quick, I want to find some black boots. It will only take a minute”, she said.
“Okay, but make it quick, I need to hurry”.
She tried on every pair of black boots in the store. And they weren’t ‘granny’ boots. They were really cute shoes, ‘teenager’ shoes if you will. She said she didn’t see a pair that she liked, but she thought, for sure, the store at the end of the hall would have a pair of shoes.
“Okay, but really, this is the last store. I need to go”.
As we were walking down the hall together, she turned to me and said, “it’s so much more fun to go to the mall with someone. I like having the company”.
And then it hit me. She didn’t care for boots. She just wanted some companionship. She just wanted someone to shop with.
It made me stop and think about what Christmas is really all about. Here I was, so concerned with material shopping, that I was putting my mamaw’s needs aside. Sure, my mamaw didn’t need me to stay and shop with her, but she was sure having fun with me. And she could have shopped by herself, like she does most times, but I think she enjoyed having the company.
What is Christmas, if we aren’t thinking of others? Gifts are gifts. They’ll be tossed aside in a couple of months. It shouldn’t be about the gifts. It should be about spending time with people we care about. So today is Thursday, and I’m thankful. I’m thankful first, for Christmas, for the birth of my Savior. And I’m thankful for my mamaw, who reminded me what Christmas should be about. It’s so easy to get sucked in to the gift-giving hype of Christmas. I’m thankful for a reminder that it’s not all about the gifts. Jesus tells us to love each other and to care deeply for one another. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us ‘and above all things, have fervent love for one another.’ It’s about the people, not the gifts.
So we shopped the evening away at the mall, trying on every pair of black boots in that joint, and ‘babe-watching’ along the way. We bought nothing (other than some pre-dinner cookies) and then we had a nice dinner at Piccadilly.
As we were leaving, she said, “Piccadilly is one of my favorite places to eat. The only thing, though, I think its mostly for senior citizens. I always see a bunch of old people when I eat here”.
You know, because 67 isn’t considered a senior citizen.
Have a blessed Thursday 🙂