The Christmas Pickle

Story_squareLate on Christmas day several years ago, we bundled our family into the car and headed for a ski trip in the Colorado mountains.

The gift-giving had been trimmed back so that we could enjoy this ski outing but my husband wanted to do something special for the family on our travel that evening.

“Let’s stop at that nice steak house on the interstate,” he said.

So we did. They were closed. It was, after all, Christmas day.

Hmmm. We hadn’t thought of that so we continued to the next town and pulled in, thinking the Chinese restaurant there might work well.

Closed.

We were starting to get a clue, finally. But we had five kids in the car and the Christmas cookies were wearing off. They were restless.

“Let’s try a fast-food place.” My husband had set his heart on a special mealtime family gathering but his stomach was growling, too.

Closed.

Grocery stores were closed. Walmart was closed.

We were about to take stock of the energy bars that might have been left in coat pockets when my husband spotted a 7-Eleven convenience store open.

We turned the kids loose. “Find something to eat.”

Because there’s virtually nothing healthy in a snack place like that, the kids were not bound to a balanced meal. They grabbed chips and popcorn and gallons of fountain drinks.

Their parents have felt guilty for years for not having enough foresight to avoid such a disappointment. We wanted to give them a nice steak dinner but instead offered candy bars and peanuts.

But I have been assured by our older son not to worry.

“I got a fistful of dill pickles,” he said. “Best Christmas dinner ever!”

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