The River's Badge

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Is Not A Good Idea

I don't know where the time went this year. One day I was cooking a turkey and mashed potatoes and decorating my table with those festive turkey paper napkins, and the next thing I knew, it was five days before Christmas. How did that happen?

I blame my job. Well, I blame my job for a lot of things, but right now, I'm blaming it for the fact that I still haven't gotten my act together for Christmas.

I kept saying, oh, I have time. I'm sort of a "deadline" person anyway. I can kick out a lot of work, once the snow hits the fan.

Unfortunately, I neglected to factor the Minnesota weather into the mix.

So, here it is, December 20. I awoke to snow falling lightly outside my window. The next time I glanced outside, the "lightly falling snow" had become an angry gnarl of meandering drifts.

My husband doesn't trust my winter driving. Smart man. I don't trust my winter driving, either. I'm like the ninety-year-old four-foot-tall woman, blithely driving 10 miles an hour, while those around me are swerving and angrily switching lanes, and greeting me with those time-honored hand signals.

So, here I was, Saturday morning, loathe to venture any further than a mile from my home. That limited my options. My options were basically Target or the Holiday convenience store.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you had to do your Christmas shopping at a convenience store?

"Hey Aunt Martha, I got you a carton of cigarettes......oh, and a Powerball ticket."

"Gee, thanks, Mom! A can of Amp and a bag of salt pellets! Just what I wanted!"

"Okay, I'll take one of those Bic lighters....and hmmm, let's see........I guess a tin of Sucrets....and a bag of Cheetos. My dad will love these!"

"Throw in one of those day-old cinnamon rolls. And I guess this copy of People Magazine....Oh good, Tom Cruise is on the cover. That'll bring tons of joy to my uncle, Father Joe. He likes reading about "alternative religions".

"Now, what to get for my mom.......she's so hard to buy for.....I think I'll go with the bottle of Castrol motor oil, a loaf of Wonder Bread, and....boy, it's a toss-up. I wonder if she'd like the giant box of Mike 'n Ikes or the bottle of Beano. What the hey! I'll just get both! It is Christmas, after all."

So, I actually didn't do my Christmas shopping at a convenience store. But Target wasn't much better, to be frank.

I need to make a mental note for 2009. Start shopping early! January would be good.

But don't knock the bag of salt pellets. It's a wise buy. Cuz when you're taking a shower after spending the day running around in 30-below temperatures, that soft water is much appreciated.

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