I slipped out of the house in the wee hours. I made a quick trip to Big Box to pick up a couple of things which were neatly stowed away before the girls awoke to, "Get up. Get dressed. Or get left." Relative normalcy, except that it was 3:00 in the morning.
The girls and I loaded into the car to ghost down our dark, quiet street. The main artery through Pleasant Suburb was empty and still. At least it was until we neared Big Box with all the light and activity of people scurrying after $9 baby dolls and cheap electronics. We passed Big Box while reassuring Erin that no one was trampled in the shopping at our Big Box last year, but that we would still avoid it. She gave a shudder, and we proceeded on down the road toward the anchor stores of our expedition.
Penney's at 4:00, Macy's at 5:00, the coffee bar at 5:20, Steinmart at 6:00, Old Navy at 6:15, and World Market at 7:00. Our purpose with this mission was to do some Christmas shopping, but mainly to select gifts for our Angel Tree recipients. Pleasant Suburban Elementary adopted a Sister School, and Erin chose a girl a year younger who hopefully has similar taste for our family from the school's Angel Tree. The girls and I sorted through the paper angels at church before picking one who is in her senior year at one of Pleasant Suburbs high schools. For these young ladies, we went out into the pre-dawn shopping extravaganza to maximize our giving. By 8:00, we were at home boxing gifts for wrapping while sipping coffee or cocoa and nibling on peppermint bark.