It's funny how people react to Christmas. I conduct a lot of phone transactions throughout the day while I'm at work, and usually, it's just business. But now, all I have to say is, "How's your Christmas shopping going?" and I get an entire conversation started...and not necessarily all about Christmas either.

On a phone call to Hartford Mutual Funds, I chatted with a customer service representative named Lourdes. While we waited on her computer to spit out some necessary information, I asked the magic question. She told me all about her husband and brother-in-law and brother-in-law's fiance. Then she described to me the relationship conflicts between the brother-in-law and his fiance, and a set of pajamas that she and her husband are going to buy for the brother-in-law. It says, "It's all about me." She predicts that he will wear those pajamas to a restaurant with his fiance, just to embarrass her. (I wanted a follow-up on that story, but unfortunately, I did not get Lourdes' direct line.)

When I called Dell PC to get a FREE replacement for some hardware that is still under warranty (yipee!), I asked Debbie the magic question while she waited on a VERY slow computer. (You'd think Dell's service center would have really fast computers so they could brag about that on their incoming calls.) She branched off into the former sleeping habits of her now grown children. We also discussed the likelihood of chocolate to melt while resting in Christmas stockings hung over the lit fireplace...something that I was grateful to have pointed out to me ahead of time.

Later, a computer guy came to our office to update some of our virus protection software, and HE asked ME the magic question!!! (Ha!) We then discussed the joy of finding the "perfect" gift for someone. Along with Louisa May Alcott books, what we thought of pandas, and the stirring of imagination when viewing a good painting.

I love Christmas!
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