I was trudging into the Walgreen's pharmacy this afternoon when I spotted the guy, a tall African-American man of middle age, with a cheerful face. He was positioned next to his Salvation Army stand immediately beside the entrance. Ringing his bell, he greeted customers with a resonant "Merry Christmas!"
This year Houston has been hard hit, with Ike, followed by the downturn everyone is experiencing, so I reached into my purse and grabbed a bill. A woman overtook me and pushed her donation into the can, and I followed suit.
As she passed through the door, the Santa reached over and hugged me. "If you'll take me home with you on Dec 24, I'll cook your Christmas dinner," he declared, laughing.
"You don't know what you'd be letting yourself in for," I rejoined.
"I make a great pecan pie!" he said.
"Oh, lord, don't say that!" I said and the door closed behind me.
This was definitely my strangest Christmas moment of the year.
December View for today is the twin towers of Greenway Plaze and the tallest pine tree inside the Loop to survive hurricane Ike.