Taking Time to See the Reason for the Season

Leo McAllister, Staff Reporter

Walking through the mall, I decided to do something I — and many of us — don’t seem to do nowadays: take time to look around.

We walk past, but we do not internalize the beautiful and intriguing moments. Why should we? We have our own business to attend to, our own vests, shoes and jewelry to buy.

Most of us are just too busy and wrapped up in our own worlds, among them the men’s area in Von Maur, with walls made of rich, deep brown wood. Comfortable yellow lights shine from holes in the wall so that customers do not notice the unattractive bulbs. Charming displays of old-timey telescopes and model sailboats sit next to a setup of fencing foils and a mask.

A few words are exchanged, but the store is silent except for the mellow accompaniment of the Christmas piano. Looking closely, though, one can see the heart of the holiday and the season.”

There is also a large area for women’s makeup and accessories, a large general shoe section, and the children’s section. The girl’s section has lots of cutesy decorations like cutout unicorns and princesses. The boy’s section is dotted with superheroes and dinosaurs.

Two young children meet in this section and play together while parents peruse shoes, clothes, and whatnot.

In the purse area, women of different ages are engaged in their own worlds. Some of them probably had saved up some money and are hoping to treat themselves with a new expensive item. Others are likely buying a gift for a loved one. This section serves as part of the vast women’s clothes section, which is continued on the second floor. There, mothers and daughters look for the perfect purchase that will go splendidly with a Christmas outfit.

The shoe section has a large range and type. You can find loafers in the men’s section. Stuffed between the purse and shoe section there is a decent-sized jewelry section with its own dedicated employee. Large glass cases house all manner of impressively detailed and thoroughly expensive jewelry.

There are lots of other assorted Christmas decorations dotted sporadically throughout the store. Large, mirrored pillars support the second floor of the store. These pillars make the store seem larger than it really is.

Tucked between two escalators is the centerpiece of the entire store. A large Christmas tree at least 10 feet tall stands proudly in the center of the store. It is decorated with all manner of cheery items, including miniature violins and colorful presents.

From a grand piano at the base of the tree streams the experienced sound of a professional musician entertaining shoppers with traditional and modern Christmas carols. If you listen hard enough, you can hear some pop music playing weakly through a single speaker in the corner of the store. The distinction between the Christmas piano and the synthesized pop is glaring.

The prevailing attitude here is one of indifference. People are either focused on their phones or the next shirt they are going to be wearing.

Even the people walking together barely talk with each other. A few words are exchanged, but the store is silent except for the mellow accompaniment of the Christmas piano. Looking closely, though, one can see the heart of the holiday and the season.

An elderly couple sitting together while admiring the delicate work of a pianist. Families whose small children just met and begin to play together. Keeping the spirit alive.