Joyce Whitis

November is a fine time to go shopping for Christmas presents, I decided, as I slipped my toes into flip-flops and grabbed my purse from the hat rack in the hall. Usually I wait until Christmas Eve to finish my list but this year I decided to do better than take the last scented candle from the shelf and call it done! This year I started six weeks early with some real ideas in my plans. That was just before I saw the red dishes. There they were, stacked at eye level on the shelves, the most wonderful square plates. The background on the plates was black and all around the edges were painted jalapeño peppers in red and green. The extreme edges of each plate, dinner and matching salad, was done in mustard yellow. I picked up one of the matching cups, a large cup with a generous open handle. Mentally I saw myself holding that cup filled with mocha colored coffee. I set the cup down and picked up one of the cereal bowls. Hot oatmeal with a slab of yellow butter melting in the center and a sprinkling of brown sugar would be absolute heaven on a cold winter morning. The set of dishes included a platter with wooden handles on each end and room enough for a beef roast with young red potatoes, little orange carrots and sweet white onions cooked and arranged along each side. I picked up the small bowl again. Brown gravy to go with the roast and hot rolls would be in this bowl, I thought.

I put the bowl down for the second time and moved on to a stack of fluffy towels with three horses in a field of green grass decorating the center fold of each bath size piece. Hummm, I said out loud, these towels would really look good in my bathroom. And I thought about the Texas flag shower curtain and the red, white and blue towels that have decorated that bathroom for years and decided that a change in there would really give me more energy. Why not add some beautiful horses to the bathroom? My house is all country western anyway. Towels with horses would be good in there. The store owner came toward me with a sign in her hands. She placed it above the towels. “Sale”, it read. “40% off regular price.”

Well, that did it! Think how much money I would save buying those towels! I gathered up two of each, bath, hand and wash cloth. Then I checked out the shower curtains. There was a curtain to match the horses on the towels and it was on sale too! Shopping just can’t get any better than a big sale.

But didn’t I come in here to buy Christmas presents? I’d better start some serious shopping, my list was really long. But what the heck….Christmas is still six weeks away. I found a lampshade made of real cowhide that looks simply fantastic on the lamp of horns on the table by the television and I decided to replace those old knobs on that cabinet in the bedroom with my favorite design…..bronze stars.

I was in a really good mood when I left the store, loaded my packages in the back seat and rode out of town. There’s nothing like shopping to bring a smile to a woman’s face and put her in the holiday spirit.

By-the-way, a roast and vegetables is almost too big for that platter with the jalapeño peppers around the edge but oatmeal with butter and brown sugar is wonderful when eaten from one of those beautiful bowls.