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The Christmas rush

The rush to buy gifts for Christmas isn’t something new. I remember my parents set aside the last Saturday before the holiday to go Christmas shopping in Gadsden during the World War II years.  

We had no transportation, so it was necessary for them to walk half a mile on a dirt road and catch a Greyhound bus on the highway for the trip there and back. Us four siblings  

were left behind in the company of neighbors.  

Time passed slowly as we watched for their return and the opportunity to take a peep at the surprises they brought home for us.  

Now the Christmas rush for many families hits its peak the day after ThanksgivingBlack Friday, when merchants mark down prices on gift merchandise to lure shoppers into their stores. Actually, the biggest shopping event of the year starts on Thanksgiving Day, with early store openings, and continues through the weekend.  

Our Thanksgiving dinner, which is hosted by daughter Pamela Gray and family, begins with a prayer of thanks that is followed by a bountiful meal of smoked turkey, baked ham, assorted vegetables and casseroles and homebaked cakes and pies. 

Shopping plans are made as soon as the dining tables are cleared of leftover food and dishes. Advertising supplements from two copies of a local newspaper are circulated, 

and a serious search begins for doorbuster specials. Notes are made about savings offered on desired gift items, as well as store opening hours. 

Our son Steve uses a unique method to please the recipients on his gift list. He circulates a mail order catalog and asks gift recipients to mark their first and second choices on items pictured on the catalog. He follows up by ordering the items selected.   

Other family members solicit gift suggestions from those on their gift lists and try to match them with advertised specials. 

Non-shoppers and early Friday shoppers enjoy a second Thanksgiving Day meal, while  

early Thursday shoppers grab a midnight snack before bedtime. Early Black Friday risers face a daunting task as they shop in a frenzy to close deals on savings at several different stores.  

For those who come up short, Saturday will be another day.  

Happy Christmas shopping, everyone.