Despite my lack of Christmas cheer, I went on my usual last pre-Christmas shopping jaunt today. I always like to make a last trip after I have all my necessary gifts taken care of and the pressure is off. I always end up buying more gifts when I'm relaxed and able to wander aimlessly around with no particular goal. I decided to go to the San Marcos outlet mall to buy myself a present. Mother started and I am continuing the tradition of buying a piece or two of Royal Doulton Old Country Roses china to add to our collection. This year I decided to indulge myself with a set of their matching flatware.
Just as I reached the exit for the outlet mall, I made an impulsive decision to run down to Gruene. It's been a long time since I visited that little town and it seemed the place to go today. I thoroughly enjoyed checking out the antique store and the Gruene General Store. I've decided that I may just have to go down there some weekend and stay in one of the quaint bed & breakfast inns that have sprung up all around town. Business has definitely increased since I was there last and I found myself hoping that its quaintness isn't on the endangered list.
When I finally made my way to the Outlet Mall, I was surprised to find several stores having "Going Out of Business" sales. I picked up several bargains, but I puzzled over why the sudden departure of these long-time residents. I wonder if other folks have run away from the Christmas crowds as I have, doing their shopping on Amazon.com or other Internet retailers. There were plenty of people at the mall, but I was surprised that I never had any trouble getting a parking space close to the shops I wanted to visit. It was really pretty calm for the last week before Christmas.
I accomplished my goals of purchasing stocking stuffers and flatware (though I had to have it drop-shipped from the main office; they were sold out). My unplanned visit to Gruene was the best part of the day. I almost remembered when shopping was fun.
Tomorrow is my last work day of the year. Last night I finished the annual family newsletter and it will go in the mail tomorrow. Friday morning I have a nice long massage planned to kick off my holiday and I plan to make the most of the opportunity to get some much needed rest.
Ho, ho, ho! (Well, at least I'm trying.)