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Shopping locally beats the heck out of ‘But wait’

December 2, 2012
Messenger News

But wait.

Regrettably I've succumbed to a few of those admonitions, and both times they turned out to be exactly what my husband always warned me they would be. Not worth the trouble.

But wait, they were going to double my offer. How could I go wrong? Elizabeth Barrett Browning had the right idea when she penned "Let me count the ways."

Of course, she wrote of an intensely deep love, while I'm working up an intense dislike for these flim-flam artists. I won't say hatred because I always told my daughter is wasn't right to hate anyone. I'm getting mighty close to changing my mind on that front, however.

Enough. Just know every time you hear "But wait," wait twice as long and think about what you're doing. I'm fair-to-middlin' certain you can find something equally as good shopping at local stores rather than falling for a television pitch.

It's a good thing a friendly nudge isn't the same as a pitch because I've got a nudge for you. Some time in the next month, take a few minutes and every young child you know to The Family Quilt Shop on A Street West to see the greatest Christmas village ever.

My sister puts up the village almost every year. I say almost because it takes a full day for her to do it. Two full days when she has help.

This year her 14-year-old grandson had a vision for a river running through it top to bottom, so she gave in and pulled a stack of storage totes and boxes from the garage attic, a stack big enough to fill most normal bathrooms. The first three or four hours this year were given over to emptying boxes. The next two or three hours needed constant requests for the youngster to stop digging a river to get the basics done, and then it was off to the races.

While there are no Christmas tree lights to untangle, there was a tote full of Christmas village light cords. They went into the tote one by one, but came out in a tangled mess. I swear those cords come to life in the off season and practice May Pole twisting.

That ubiquitous "they" say you can tell a lot about a person faced with tangled Christmas tree lights. Let's hope that doesn't hold true with tangled Christmas village cords because I'm quite sure I'd come out on the down side of nice after spending almost an hour pulling them apart and checking if the lights still worked.

Still, any annoyance seems trivial once the last bit of sparkle has been sprinkled on the last section of town and the building lights are lit in a darkened room. Christmas magic comes to life. It's easy to imagine the smell of popcorn in the city park, to hear the laughter of families skating on the ice rink. The wagon pulling a cut Christmas tree out of the woods carries the scent of pine and the memories of past holidays.

There's so much more. Go see.

So long friend, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at



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