The place to go
Eric Kaminetzky is still relatively new to this area, installed and ordained as minister of Edmonds Unitarian Church less than a year ago.
But he knows how to follow traffic and that's what he was doing early in the Christmas shopping season.
He thought he was caught in a game of dodge-em cars on his way out to Alderwood Mall.
Once he had parked his car and launched his shopping session he said he felt like a salmon, fighting its way upstream against a heavy current.
I won't correct his simile and substitute "sucker" for "salmon" because the majority of residents in this area do all or part of their shopping in a mall.
But I would suggest that for last-minute shopping you and the Kaminetzky kin dodge the big box stores and substitute frequent forays up our version of Fifth Avenue.
In fact I spotted one message posted last week in a Main Street shop window.
"If you really want to occupy Wall Street, do your holiday shopping at a small, independent merchant."
It makes sense. Visitors from out of state invariably comment on our unique setting dominated by beach walks and the ferryboat landing.
But they almost always also comment favorably on the variety and quality of the shops along Fifth and Main.
Long term residents take them for granted, but these independent merchants will be around only as long as they can profitably operate in Edmonds.
If you are in the market for a pair of men's shoes, a new app for a cell phone, a 500-inch flat screen TV set or a new set of rock climbing ropes, you may have to visit "The dreaded mall" as Eric Kaminetzky discovered while surrounded by spawning sockeyes.
I think I have visited Alderwood mall once in the past three years, not counting the times a female relative led me there by one ear.
Nordstrom did not declare a dividend after those visits.
And it is interesting to note that despite the tax money Alderwood Mall brings to Lynnwood, our northern neighbor seems to be in much worse financial straits than we are, here in the cozy, comfortable, friendly Edmonds bowl.
We are now in the frantic, frenzied tail end of the Christmas shopping season.
It will be a whole lot less frantic if you do your shopping in shops owned and operated by your friends and neighbors.
And that's not a bunch of Ho Ho Holiday Hokum.