Just thought you’d like to know there are only 26 more shopping days until Christmas.
I wanted to touch base with all you Happy Shoppers. I want to know what you’re drinking.
If anyone would have ever told me that there would come a day I would dread Christmas shopping, I would have said your Christmas bulbs weren’t screwed in tight.
I love the holiday. I love the music. I love the decorations. I love the traditions. I love everything about it. I love seeing the faces of my loved ones opening the gifts I so carefully and thoughtfully bought just for them.
I just hate shopping for them.
I know why. I can’t make a decision to save my life.
1. I set aside a specific amount to spend on each person. I study their wish lists carefully. But with the cost of everything so high, if I buy one thing on the list, that’s it. So then I go to the next person and maybe I can buy two things for the same amount of money that I spent on the first person. Now I’m thinking, “Well, will she be hurt if he gets two gifts and she only gets one?” Even though I’m spending the same amount of money. But maybe they don’t know that, so then it looks like I like him more than her. See? Decisions. Decisions.
2. When I enter a store, I look all around and the amount of “stuff” everywhere overwhelms me. My body’s thermostat goes haywire. I have to strip down to the bare minimum as the sweat rolls down my cleavage. My knees get weak. I search for somewhere to sit down. WHY ARE THERE NO CHAIRS IN THESE PLACES? I become parched. Like a lost woman in the desert, I go in search of water. Well, OK. A Coke. I need to get my blood sugar up so I can find the strength to wade through the sale racks looking for the gift that will almost bring her to tears. The only thing in my price range and her size is a pair of Bermuda shorts with a tank top that kind of matches. What could say “Perfect Christmas Gift” more? Decisions. Decisions.
3. Thank Goodness for the Gadget Aisle! When in doubt, head to the gadgets. I mean, who couldn’t use a shoe horn that acts like a pocket knife with 10 different blades, with a lifesaving kit (matches included), flashlight and transistor radio/TV combo? Right? Hey! I’d love one! (Hint. Hint.)
4. I hate second-guessing myself. In my one hand I have the most beautiful sweater for her. It’s her color — sky blue pink with a hellish border. In the other hand is the most amazing necklace. It’s a rose. She loves roses. She loves diamonds. It has pretty fake rhinestones. What more could she want? Well, there’s my dilemma. I can’t buy both. It’s one or the other. So I stand there in my indecision until tears form in my eyes as I decide they’re both god-awful and I put them back only to have to start over in my search.
5. Because I hate shopping in the stores, the last couple of years I’ve done some of my shopping online. So I find an item I know he’ll love. My cap is $50. The item costs $49.99. What to do? Because that doesn’t include sales tax and shipping, which has now increased the cost of the item to $800! OK, that’s an exaggeration. But with those two add-ons, the item is now well over my $50 limit. Do I still buy it or not? Decisions. Decisions.
6. Do I start taking the same route as my mother and just give them the cash? Am I really there yet?
7. This year I tried to interest the family in exchanging names. Easier for me. Easier for them. Right? Wrong. As my nephew put it yesterday, “I like seeing the faces on everyone when they open a gift from me. I’d miss that. And besides, it’s tradition.”
Well, as sweet as that is, I’m wondering how he’d like the new tradition of coming to visit his aunt in the loony bin on Christmas Day?
And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Christmas is not about the gifts. It’s about God giving us the greatest gift of all, the Christ Child. Now there’s not a thing I don’t love about that part of the celebration. It’s the most meaningful and beautiful one.
But far be it for me to try to change the traditions of my family and forever be known as the Grinch who stole Christmas from them.
I’ll just have to suck it up for another year. I’ll start my shopping as soon as I visit Dr. Quackenbush. I hear he’s offering a free seminar on “How to Keep Your Sanity While Christmas Shopping.” It comes with a set of Positivity Beads. They come in red, blue or yellow. Oh gosh! Another decision?