Betsy is at the beauty shop fixing Mrs. Jenkins hair. (Mrs. Jenkins is Wat’s wife. He’s the mailman.) Betsy loves her because she knows all the scoop in town.Betsy: What do you know today, Mrs. Jenkins? Anything interesting happening in town?
Mrs. Jenkins looks a little uncomfortable.
Mrs. Jenkins: Well, there is sadness in the air Betsy, nothing but sadness. Wat says all the mail he is delivering around town is bills. He says the envelopes from the same bill collectors get fatter every week. It’s a bad sign of things to come. Your business will be falling off too if people don’t start getting some paying customers. After all, Betsy, your business is considered…after market.
Betsy: What, pray tell, is, “after market?”
Mrs. Jenkins: Well, you know when a person goes and buys himself a new car? He decides he doesn’t want to pay for all the bells and whistles which are considered after market items. Wat can cut out my weekly trips to the Beauty Shop, and the masseuse. I don’t have a masseuse, but if I did, he could cut it out, because those are both after market items. They might make me look better, but he can live without them.
Betsy: It can’t get much slower than it is already, Mrs. Jenkins. I’ll have to give up my shop if it doesn’t get better soon. As it is, I fix a lot of hair for a lot of nothing.
Sylvia is looking out the window of the bookstore. She’s hoping a customer will come and buy a book. Business is really down and she’s concerned Tom might not be able to keep her on if business doesn’t pick up soon. They don’t even have an increase in sales at Christmastime because Thanksgivington doesn’t celebrate Christmas, therefore, people don’t buy each other Christmas gifts. Well, at least Tom decided to partner with Happy over at Happy’s Flower Shop for the parade competition. He’s over there right now swapping ideas with Happy.
Tom: I don’t even know where to begin, Happy. I’ve never been a part of entering in a parade competition before, and I sure don’t know what a perfect Christmas would look like.
Happy: You know, Tom…I didn’t realize you were quite this jumpy. You’re kind of getting on my nerves. I think I have some lavender over here. If you hold it under your nose, maybe it’ll calm you down some.
Tom: Thanks, Happy…I’ve never tried lavender. It has a good odor to it.
Happy: You mean scent, Tom. A rotten egg has an odor, flowers have a scent.
Tom: Whatever it is, it smells real nice. You don’t seem to have many flowers in your flower shop, Happy. You must have sold a bunch today.
Happy: Not exactly, Tom. It’s been a long time between good days here, and I just can’t afford keep fresh flowers on hand if I can’t sell them. As it is, on the rare occasion someone does call, I have to tell them I’m sold out.
Tom: Why do you think I read all my books? It’s because I can’t sell any. I have Sylvia’s wages to pay, too. I’m not going to be able to keep her on much longer.
Over at Sweet Sally’s Bakery, Sally is sitting at one of her empty tables. She is staring at the fresh carrot cake and cinnamon rolls in the food case. She has used the last of her flour, sugar and spices and there is no money to buy more. Sally refuses to freeze them, even if they are the last she will ever make.
And so it goes in the pretty little burg of Thanksgivington. They have no children, they have no business, and they have no money.
As Sally walks the fifteen blocks home, she thinks about her own situation. She doesn’t want to move away from Thanksgivington, but it appears she is going to have to close the bakery, and when that happens, there won’t be a reason to stay here. She has another problem as well. Kitty hates Thanksgivington.
As with most stories, there is one who has the answer to Thanksgivington’s dilemma. Can he do what must be done in time? Will Thanksgivington have a perfect Christmas?