No Wal-Mart

You know, I don’t think Wal-Mart has made it to Australia yet. Should I be thankful?

Beth, I can’t believe you’ve done your Christmas shopping already. There are still 2 weeks to go for heavens sake.

We do our Christmas shopping – you guessed it – on Christmas Eve. Another Glover family tradition. We always make sure to drop in at my favourite store, David Jones. They have wonderful, classy decorations, and angel choirs singing a cappella. Truly! When the angels need a break a handsome young man in coat-tails plays classical music on a grand piano. It’s lovely and quiet and peaceful there. All the noisy people are at the Myer store at the other end of the Mall.

David Jones, as you might have guessed, is a rather exclusive store (I have an account there, just so I can pretend I’m rich), but you can’t buy the same quality goods anywhere else for less, AND they double the warranty on electrical equipment. And their customer service is simply wonderful. On one memorable occasion, I felt faint and ill just as I alighted from a bus outside their door. I sat down at the bus stop with my head between my hands because I thought I was going to either throw up or faint. People looked at me strangely and kept clear. When I had slightly recovered, I went into DJs and fronted up to the information desk, thinking they might have somewhere in the store where I could lie down.

The young woman behind the counter (why do they call counters ‘counters’? … oh, I suppose it’s because that’s where, in the olden days, they used to count the money you gave them) called someone to take me upstairs to their in-store nurse. This marvellous woman sat me down, took my temperature and blood pressure, called my workplace to tell them I wouldn’t be in, ascertained that there was nobody at home to look after me, made me a cup of tea, then encouraged me to sleep on a comfy bed for as long as I needed. After an hour she called a cab and sent me home … and the store paid for the cab.

David Jones got a lot of mileage out of that good deed. I think I’ve told everyone I know, and no doubt they’ve told others and the story has probably passed into retail store legend territory.

Anyway, I’ll be a loyal DJs customer until I die, unless there’s a Wal-Mart takeover or something.

What I was going to tell you, before my mind wandered, was that you can get the classy Christmas decorations at half price if you go late on Christmas Eve. I think I’ll do that this year because I’m feeling a bit out of things, what with Beth talking about poinsettia lights (I can’t even imagine what poinsettia lights would look like, other than poinsettias, which doesn’t seem all that appropriate for lights). Then I’ll have to dash home to complete decorating the tree while it’s still Christmas Eve … or perhaps start a new family tradition.

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