Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Christmas Will Be Here In 79 Days…Are You Ready?

I am proud to announce…I have purchased the first Christmas Gift of 2010. Ta-da!!

I know, I know – it’s amazing, isn’t it? Frankly, I think this is news worthy of inclusion in some sort of Hall of Fame – or perhaps the next edition of Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

For the past several years…okay…decades now – I have joined the impatient throngs of last minute Christmas shoppers who power-walk through three different malls in a five-hour time span attempting to find the perfect gift. Which, of course, never materializes. So I end up spending way more than intended just so that I don’t show up at a gift exchange empty-handed. Not only that, but there have been some years where there were very few gaily wrapped packages under the tree, primarily because I gave up on the search and instead went out and bought gift cards.

This year I decided to try a different approach and start a whole 79 days, 18 hours and 35 minutes early. (And, yes I did look it up – the Internet is a veritable smorgasbord of information!)

Plus, while I’m a little slow on the uptake as other people have been doing this for years, I have finally realized the beauty of online ordering. Sit at the computer in your jammies and order away and a few days later – voilà – the package is delivered to your front door. Now I ask you, what could be easier?

When I was in my 20s, I was more organized during holiday time. My to-do list was long, but somehow – in between working and bar hopping – I managed to get most of my Christmas shopping finished well before Thanksgiving. I assumed I would always be just as organized, so I took it for granted. Silly me.

Once I reached my 30s, my holiday organization went down the tubes and I started the last-minute thing. Hmmm…one could almost conclude that eliminating bar hopping led to my downfall.

On the other hand, the gift list wasn’t as long as it has become over the years and the budget was a little thinner back then, so maybe comparatively speaking, last minute shopping is still within the norm.

No, that argument doesn’t really work for me, either.

So now in my 50s, I’ve changed tactics again. And once I ordered that first gift, I started making my list and checking it twice – and driving Vince absolutely nuts with chatter about what to get for whom. He was probably thinking, it’s only the first of October, for cryin’ out loud. Get back to me in December. Like maybe around the 24th!

Vince hasn’t quite bought into the whole list making thing, although he doesn’t begrudge me making the effort. Just as long as I don’t involve him too much in the whole process.

Of course, there is a potential fly in the ointment, as it were, with this new plan. What happens when I finish shopping by the end of October and then shortly thereafter all the Christmas sales flyers and catalogues start to arrive – and I chance upon a better gift for someone? It will probably be too late to return all the gifts I’ve bought online.

Actually, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that I will start to see all sorts of things that I absolutely must buy for myself! It’s sort of Christmas shopping with the “one for you – one for me” attitude. Hey, I can’t help it. I try to stay away from the mall as much as possible during the year unless I’m absolutely required to purchase new clothes for an event such as a wedding. Or, for a reason such as – I don’t know – like maybe it’s Wednesday and I have nothing to wear. You can never have enough Wednesday outfits…

Yeah, who am I kidding. I hit the mall with the same regularity as mail delivery and with the same motto as the Post Office: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor…”

Well, anyway, I will have to make sure that the gifts I purchase are perfect and exactly what the receiver wanted so that no one will even think about returning them. And I will have to develop a little more willpower so that the massive pile of gaily wrapped gifts under the tree aren’t ALL for me. That could be, well, a little embarrassing.

Hmmm…maybe last minute gift cards aren’t such a bad idea after all…

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