Hobby lobby holidaze
By Deb Baer Becker
Here in south Texas we don’t experience fall’s apple-crisp night air, or the kaleidoscope leaf colors that make my kinsfolk of the Keystone State wistful, even misty-eyed at
Nature’s gentle reminder that the holidays are almost here. Nature doesn’t nudge us with Her frosty finger; I’m not sure if we have Nature here in Houston.
But we do have Hobby Lobby, and although you might have a Hobby Lobby, too, ours is bigger. Ours is Texas-sized and crammed floor-to-ceiling with trinkets dolled up in fall colors, and all of that glitter-glazed-glory-halleluiah-Christmas treasure, what the Hubster calls, “stuff.”
That’s where I took Kay, my darlin’ grown-up baby girl, just the two of us on a Monday night, after a quick sup at the Chick fil A.
We pulled into the parking lot just as the sun was kicking out its last rays, wrapping the store’s adobe brown facade in its golden glow.
Kay opened the car door, lifted her iced tea from its holder, then paused and turned to me and said, “Should we take our teas? ”
“It’s ninety-six degrees, so, yes,” I said.
“You dropped yours in the store last time,” she reminded me.
“I like to think I baptized the floral section.” I said, and raised my iced tea to the sky.
“Mom. You’re ridiculous,” Kay said, and I laughed, as we entered the store, giggling and excited like kids at Christmas.
“I’ll grab a cart,” Kay said as I wandered in.
“Seems like they just put all of the Halloween stuff out,” I said to no one. Then I looked up, up, up. I stood speechless and still and my eyes were glazed over by the light and sparkle of a twenty-foot Christmas tree adorned with whorls of metallic orange mesh ribbon, and a heft of Halloween ornaments: sparkly purple pumpkins topped with feathers and plaidshirted scarecrows and iridescent witches perched mid-flight and glittery spiders’ webs from the tree’s bottom to top where a witch’s hat, all silk and lace and trimmed in tiny tinsel pumpkin pom-poms, and a garland of feathery bats that seemed to fly around the tippy top. For a moment I’d forgotten where I was and why and with whom—.
“Mom!” Kay said.
“Oh. Sorry, it’s just--I’ve never--a Halloween tree, huh,” I stammered.
Kay gave the tree a moment’s consideration and said, “It’s not done until it’s over-done. Jeez. Move on. Halloween’s over.”
She handed off the shopping cart to me, reminding me that we’d come to look for holiday stuff for her house.
But two steps later I stopped again - all that farmhouse stuff - aluminum milk cans, baskets trimmed with burlap hearts, and an assortment of chicken wire figures.
“Look! Chicken wire chickens!” I said, almost shouting, and lifted a wire chicken with cut metal comb and tail feathers.
“Mom, the Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff is this way,” Kay said. She lead and I followed, pushing the cart, a wiry chicken in the basket.
We made it past Floral, and around a corner display of candles to the aisle of BLESSED, GRATEFUL, THANKFUL, HAPPY HARVEST, and GOBBLE ‘TILL YOU WOBBLE.
Kay lifted one of the many cream and gold striped “Happy Harvest” pumpkins, and said, “These are so Kate Spade-esque!” and added it to the cart.
Meanwhile, I’d dropped to my knees to hold a round pillow, which was embroidered with leaves and knotted flowers in gold, brown, and turquoise and the words BLESS THIS
HOME stitched on black canvas. I held it up, and Kay said, “Chalkboard – cute! That’s so YOU, Mom!”
We ooh’d and aah’d our way past shelf-after-shelf of polyester owls with plaid candy-corn colored scarves; foam gourds in coats of many colors; swirled glass pumpkins with golden stems; stuffed and feathered turkeys dressed in polyester argyle sweaters; coppery metal pumpkins trimmed in satin leaves; grapevine wreaths wrapped in yards of gold leaf stamped burlap ribbon and bows; cornucopias of fruit and pheasant feather adorned cornucopias, andthen we saw the sign:
40% OFF ALL HOLIDAY ITEMS
I inhaled sharply, and then coughed, and choked, and coughed again, but somehow managed to squawk, “I just threw up in my mouth!”
Kay nearly dropped the argyle sweater-dressed turkeys that she’d held in each hand like poultry bouquets, when, laughing, she doubled over.
“I’m going to pee my pants!” she said.
“I can’t catch my breath—I think I almost died!” I said, my eyes teary from choking and laughing.
“This is the best Monday night I’ve ever had,” I said, my voice still a bit ragged.
“Oh my god, Mom,” Kay said, and we headed to the check out counter.
And so we drove home happy and in high spirits in the light of a silvery moon, with all of the magic of the holidays paper wrapped and stuffed in Hobby Lobby bags in the back seat of my Jeep.