The Battle of Christmas Eve Eve at Mariano’s


Nearby roads were packed, the parking lot was packed and store aisles were packed at Mariano’s Friday, December 23, 2016. Except for last minute shoppers still shopping for Christmas gifts, most of today’s activity was swarming at Mariano’s in Arlington Heights.

Mariano’s was well prepared for the war on the grocery shelves. All cash registers were open, and extra staff were merrily working behind the deli counter, the bakery counter, the produce department, meat department, and the dairy department — while troops were restocking the aisles in general grocery.

A few Grinch-like women advanced their shopping carts with cold-calculated, unjolly maneuvers, and medics were called to the dairy department for a woman down. Shoppers didn’t know if she was knocked down or collapsed under the stress. Otherwise the large crowds were moving smoothly. The customer side of the butcher counter looked more like the old floor of the Chicago Board of Trade with customers calling out meat cuts, weights (“OK. if it’s a little over”) and butchers called out line numbers.

You have to give Mariano’s staff credit for a job well done.

Paramedics at the grocery store.

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