You pause for a moment to take in the glory of rows up rows of tooth-rotting beauty wrapped in bright plastic. Why on earth did you waste your time anywhere else? Your eyes rove over a veritable Nirvana of saccharine splendor, too dazzled to make a decision for a moment. Then your eyes begin to adjust to the maltose majesty of eighteen kinds of M&Ms and you study your options in earnest. And then you spot it. That bright red word that every red-blooded deal-hunter knows to look for.
You quickly exercise your budding grasp of math. Brahmagupta would be proud. Five-fifty. That’s enough for… one, two, three- four. Four candy bars! No, wait! There’s even cheaper chocolate over there! You could get her five of those! Or you could still give her four, but eat one yourself, too. It’s perfect!
You scoop up a sixth one just to be sure, but the cashier makes you put it back as she hands you your change. You dance your way over the Subway to collect your father and urge him to speed the entire way home. Surely Santa’s too busy to be watching this close to Christmas.
The mother of all holidays arrives and you spring out of bed, ready to observe all your favorite traditions of Christmas. You scream bloody murder as you haul your parents out of bed. You drag them into the living room and turn on all the lights, blinding them so they can be properly dazzled by the recent presence of Santa. But the stockings can wait. Licking the cookie crumbs off Santa’s plate can wait. There are presents to be opened.
You shove your package at your mother the moment her butt hits the couch and she tears open the package with a bright smile. She pauses as paradise is revealed and gives you a warm hug. “Aw, thanks, sweetie. More candy.”
You stiffen a little in her arms. More candy? You glance down at her stocking, brimming over with candy. And at the chocolate bars and candy canes tied on the tops of packages. Enough candy to last you maybe ten minutes, but your mother? She wouldn’t eat this much in a year.
A little embarrassed, you offer to help her polish it all off, but already you’re thinking about next year. Next year, you’ll get it right.