Seasons of the South


     Living in New Orleans, I actually had to check my calendar to verify that summer had ended. There are no colorful trees with leaves of bright orange, yellow and red. No gently flowing cool breeze brushes my cheek to usher in the change in seasons here in south Louisiana. No magical environmental changes symbolize the transitions from season to season in our warm, often unbearably humid climate.

     Now that fall has officially made its annual debut, the countdown begins to my favorite season, the Christmas Season. As soon as there are fewer than 100 days until Christmas, the shopping pressure is on. Every year I tell myself that if I diligently plan ahead, I can have all shopping done by the first week in November. As many times as I have tried to instill that message in my brain, I still find myself standing amid two thousand other shoppers at 4am on Black Friday outside the doors of our local Target. There’s something about the camaraderie I feel with the other shoppers who brave the darkness of the early morning hours that puts me in the holiday spirit. Together against all odds, we will conquer the sales and bring home fantastic deals.

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     On Thanksgiving Day, after the plates have been cleared and the men have made their way towards the television, we immerse ourselves in the advertisements. Mapping out the locations with the best deals, we create an itinerary based on the times the stores are set to open. We determine which items are must haves and which are langiappe ( Louisana word for “extra”).

     When we begin our journey, we remain undaunted by the crowds we see wrapped around buildings. After waiting in line outside, we remain focused as the security guard at the store front counts out fifty more individuals to enter the already crowded store. Upon entering, we try to stay together as much as possible to work as a team to gather the items we need. After exiting with our coveted goods, we throw them in the trunk and race to the next store to begin the process again.

     After all is said and done, and exhaustion finally rears its ugly head, we are filled with laughter and fantastic memories from the morning. We question whether or not we will have the stamina to do it again the following year. We vow to just stay in bed and forgo the stress that often accompanies the whirlwind of the day.

     As I embrace fall and ponder the countdown to Christmas, I consider skipping Black Friday this year. There are so many reasons to avoid the craziness and remain tucked in my warm bed. Despite those reasons, the opportunity to make lifelong memories of the hilarity of the day with my mother and sister are priceless. I can sleep in some other day. If you need me on Black Friday, I’ll be ushering in my favorite season at midnight in line at my local Target.

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