Right before leaving for a few days away, one of my friends told me that she couldn’t figure out what they (she and her husband) could get me for Christmas. I said, “Nothing. Don’t get me anything. I don’t need anything.” She said, “I knew you’d say that.”
My being away took me up toward Deerfield Village in Michigan and to what I call Arab-Dearborn. There was a huge mall a mile and a half away from the Drury Inn where I was staying. It would be a nice place to walk on a cold day. It might give me an answer to Susan’s question.
The mall was three floors high, with a skywalk that connected to another building of two floors. There had to be an idea in there somewhere.
In the main gathering area was a castle
in honor of you know who.
Watching all the parents hugging, kissing and primping the children, getting them ready for a photo with Santa, I saw them as an image of God and us, and I wondered what the God-version of “slobber kisses” and “mom spit” might be. I noticed, too, that each mom or granddad protected, pranced about and played with their own offspring as if their child was the only one that existed or mattered in the whole wide world. There seems to be an image of the divine in there, too.
The sound was “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The smell, at first I couldn’t identify it but it seemed to be pumped into the air, was caramel popcorn, I think. The food court had a marquis that boasted of “more than 12 kinds of Mac n’ Cheez!”
My favorites of all the stores, the only two that I actually entered, were Brookstone, filled with fun things like a hand-held digital luggage scale and a bunch of other things that I did not need, and Sur la Table, with gadgets of all kinds, but not the cheap, plastic orange peeler that I thought I might find.
The name of one of the stores startled me. How in the world could this name make any sense?
A store named “True Religion.” Really?
This window message made better sense.
“Tis the Season for Big Surprises.” Yes, what surprise does God have in store (pun intended) for each of us this season?
Of all the windows, in which were showcased models and mannequins (more or less clothed), this store most caught my attention.
The woman in this poster was the most beautiful.
In her I saw the face and the form of all the young women in the parish carrying children. I whispered a prayer for all those women who long to arrive at maternity (“destination maternity” was the name of teh staore) but have not yet been so blessed. It was an Advent poster and prayer, of sorts.
After walking the entire mall on two different days, and looking at the windows of all the stores, I came up with an answer to my friend’s question. I didn’t see anything I needed for Christmas.
She knew I’d say that.