As I took my number from the ticket-machine at the deli section of my local supermarket tonight I wondered how long I might have to wait. Honestly, I’ve never seen that many people in Coles before, as I generally shop in the quieter parts of the day such as early morning or later at night.
With ticket number forty-nine, I had to wait about ten minutes. And all I wanted was a few slices of nice ham. When it comes to Christmas, I’m particularly anti-consumerist. I just don’t think spending a lot money on things other probably don’t need and eating too much is what it’s all about. But I don’t mind the odd little treat here and there, such as really expensive, nice ham.
So I waited, and as I did I watched the ham slowly disappearing before my eyes. A few slices here, a few slices there but I figured all would be okay since the numbering system had reached forty-six and there was still a half a pile of ham left.
But then number forty-eight told the assistant “I’ll just have the rest”, and the ham literally disappeared before my eyes.
“Number forty-nine” they called out, and I raised my hand. “Just a few slices of ham, thanks”, I said, with a response in the negative. “We’re all out of ham”, he told me.
It’s not all bad though, as I ended up buying my second, third and fourth favourite indulgent treats: some blueberries, some pate and some mussels. That’s my Christmas treat for 2008.
As I said when it comes to Christmas, I’m much more in the “thanksgiving” camp than the consumerist camp. I actually like the American tradition, or at least the idea if “Thanksgiving”, being a time when you show gratittude and reflect on the really important things that make your life and community worthwhile.
I’m also a Christian – don’t worry, I’m not one of those God-bothering type – so Christmas also means for me some kind of reflection of the essential values of Christianity, such as the love and concern for other human beings.
That said, I wasn’t feeling entirely Christian values towards #48 who took all the ham :)
But as I look back on the year and on my life, I’m really grateful for the year. It’s been a great year for me. In fact, it’s been a year of unexpected happiness. I hope it’s also been the same for you. And if not, I hope next year offers you the love and nourishment that you (all of us) deserve in our lives.