“Joy to the World” trumpets from on high. Rinse, repeat, repeat the joy. Bustling through the press for one more gift on the latest list, I hear the sound of tortured agony slice through the carols of riotous happiness.
The full-throttle meltdown shatters the bliss, the shopper’s tunnel vision.
Some girl reaches her limit. “I hate Christmas!” she shrieks.
Mom and brother freeze in shock at the near blasphemy. Bystanders recoil in horror. Too young to hate Christmas.
“I want to go home!”
Mother’s shoulders sag. “Okay, Lotte, let’s go.”
The tumult ebbs, fades. Hallelujah. Peace again restored on Earth.