Let every hall have boughs of green,
With berries glowing in between,
In the week when Christmas comes.
~~ from "In the Week When Christmas Comes," by Eleanor Farjeon
Mr. Fixit and I went to Giant Tiger this morning. For anyone who doesn't know, that's a Canadian discount store chain which, as I usually put it, is where you buy flip-flops. But they have groceries too, and we needed to get a few basics. Strangely enough, it's also where we find our favourite brand of frozen cabbage rolls (doesn't everyone want cabbage rolls on Christmas?). And we found a small frozen cheesecake, someone else's Christmas request...stay with me here...and we replenished the lettuce for the guinea pig, and picked up some juice and canned goods and organic rice crisp things (for company). And a small cheap floor mat for the garage, because Giant Tiger is where you find small cheap floor mats for the garage. We came out with several full bags, and feeling happy enough about it all.
We made a stop at the bank, and then dropped into a large-but-upscale chain grocery store next door, because Mr. Fixit has sometimes found holiday meat items there, and he thought it was worth having a look. If Giant Tiger is a bit, excuse the expression, lower on the food chain than the store where we usually shop (like, Walmart), this place was a few notches above. What's the difference, besides the prices? I don't know...maybe it was the huge amount of expensive chocolates and party food in your face everywhere you turned. Or the smell of the lilies in the floral department as you went out the door. Definitely a change from the discount store.
The fancy store didn't have what we were looking for, but it was no big deal, we'll find something. I was more struck by the every-day-ness of the discount store vs. the as-classy-as-a-big-city atmosphere of the other one. That kind of "classy" is a bit too demanding for me...I imagine that food (and the lilies) all standing in spotlights like movie stars, bowing and waiting for the proper amount of applause. I think I prefer every-day-ness, even at Christmas.