An Inside Look at Randall's Grocery Carts on Christmas Day
Photos by Carla Soriano
Upon opening my eyes on Christmas day, the first thought to run through my head was not Santa, or presents, or family. It was "I am so hungry." Followed immediately by "Oh my gosh all the grocery stores are closed what am I going to do do I have enough milk to get me through the day and what about dishwashing liquid I need butter do I have butter where is the butter oh my goodness I need food I need a grocery store am I going to starve all day long yes I think I am going to starve oh no oh no this is really bad". Yeah, how's that for unnecessary, exaggerated worries? I didn't really think it was the end of the world. You always want something more when you think you can't have it, like Chick-fil-A on Sundays.
Little did I know (shame on me) that, while December 25 found most grocery stores filled with darkness and silence, doors closed to the public, the usual din could be heard at Houston-area Randall's -- lucky for many. There, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Christmas day, scanners at registers beeped loudly as they scanned items, grocery carts creaked around, and people browsed through the aisles, reaching for needed items -- many with restless children in tow.
When I found out that Randall's had been open on Christmas day, I wondered what people shopped for during the holiday? A lot of things, according to Randall's representatives across town with whom I spoke with over the phone. Many shoppers were the men and women who forgot those one or two items key to making or breaking their meals - pie shells, spices, bread rolls, dressing and the like. These people were in and out quickly, as were those picking up essentials like butter, milk, eggs, and coffee.
However, most shoppers at Randall's were representing the Procrastinator's Club of America, buying important components of Christmas Day meals: everything from meats (turkeys, hams, steak, chicken, and seafood) to desserts (lots of cakes, pies and cookies), to wine -- white, sparkling, red -- you name it, it was in the carts.
And, as much as I hate to break it to you, last minute shoppers were also making gift purchases - for you, my friends. Gift cards were flying out the door. It turns out that Aunt Sue hadn't actually carefully considered which gift cards to get you - finally settling on Barnes & Noble due to your undying love of literature, Starbucks to nurture your caffeine addiction, and iTunes for getting the latest apps, music, and movies. She just walked into the only grocery store open in town, grabbed whatever gift cards were left on the shelf, and called it a day.
I wish I would've known that Randall's had been open on Christmas day -- that's what I get for not checking my weekly grocery store ads, not watching TV, and not listening to the radio. I so would have been in the know had I been more connected to these outlets of information. On the bright side, next year I'll know where to go shop for food that I don't really need on Christmas Day. And knowing where to get groceries on the day after Christmas Eve will surely prevent a panic attack brought on by my stupid Empty Refrigerator Intolerance Syndrome.
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