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Holiday shopping hits the road

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
It's been a tradition in my family for several years for the women to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, I was spending Thanksgiving with Greg's family in Mississippi and had serious concerns that the tradition would end.
My concerns weren't valid. It seems the desire to head to the mall the day after Thanksgiving transcends state lines. My sister-in-law, Julie, and niece, Michelle, announced they were headed to the mall on Friday.
My heart rejoiced, until I learned Julie planned to leave the house around 6 a.m.
Don't get me wrong. I love to shop. But I love to sleep, too, and generally, the desire for the latter will outweigh the former.
We struck a bargain.
Julie would leave at the crack of dawn while Michelle and I would wait until later in the day to arrive. Then, we could all meet up and shop.
Sleeping late and shopping – the best of both worlds.
Michelle and I arrived at the mall around 11 a.m., and walked into JC Penney. Clothes, bags and people were everywhere.
"This may have been a mistake," I said to Michelle as we stepped over the mounds of discarded bargains on the floor. After cell phone calls to locate her waiting in line in another store, we found Julie. It was about 11:30 a.m. by this time and she already had a glazed look in her eyes.
"I was just stuck in line for almost an hour," she said.
We took a break for lunch and then started our shopping. By this time, much of the crowd had dwindled. I had already done most of my shopping, so I was along for the ride. Julie, however, had lots to do, so we let her lead us around.
We went from store to store, carrying an ever-increasing number of bags and quickly becoming less picky as we went.
"I think so and so would really like this," was said over and over, usually in regards to something as practical as a neon green sweatshirt with panda bears on the front.
Braving the elements, we even went outside the mall, heading to dreaded places such as Toys-R-Us (aka Purgatory) and Wal-Mart (aka Pits of Hades.)
We were tiring quickly by this time and getting more than a little loony. By this point, Julie had been shopping for 15 hours; Michelle and I a mere 10. And even though we'd been out less time, I think the strain hit Michelle the hardest.
Wrapping up our exploits, we stopped for a quick pick-me-up and Michelle ordered a cookie dough milkshake.
She took a sip and then looked at me and said "what is this? It tastes like milk."
"It's a milkshake," I said. "It's supposed to have milk in it. Hang on, young one. There's lots more shopping to do and miles to go before we sleep."