#184 In which our hero reflects on Christmas shopping and his dread thereof.
This is the time of year when I take a step back from the frenzied pace of my life, breathe deep of the chill air and think, “Shit. I gotta get shopping.”
While I enjoy giving presents, I really hate shopping for them. And it’s not just the malls -- I don’t need a new reason to avoid malls, but if I did it would be how they are crammed to capacity with maniac shoppers and screeching children at this time of year -- but it’s shopping online, too. I don’t know what it is… I like figuring out good gifts, but when it comes to the actual rigmarole of buying and wrapping and shipping… ugh. Can’t be bothered.
But there’s simply no avoiding it. And this year, it’s rather impressive that I’m thinking about it in November (albeit the ass-end of November) and not December 15th. I try not to wait until the last minute, but I usually do. So then I have to deal with all the other assholes like me waiting until the 11th hour, so the malls are even worse and the lines at the post office and just stupid and it’s a self-perpetuating cycle that makes me cringe.
Of course, the real solution would be to start gathering presents in October; lord knows there’s no shortage of cues from manufacturers and retailers that now is the time to get to shopping!
The good news is that I already know what I’m buying The Scientist. Actually, I will be getting her three things, none of which she will expect and all of which she will love. At least, I hope so. My track record of hitting it out of the park is not as great as hers. Last time I thought I was getting her the awesomest present ever she ended up returning it. For store credit. Which she then used to buy a present for her sister. Still not sure how I should feel about that one.
Anyway, the biggest hurdle is the fact that I have four nephews and one niece on my side of the family, and two nieces on The Scientist’s side of the family. I desperately want to be that uncle who gets you really great presents, and not the one who you open his gifts last, because they’re so lame. I figure I’m about 70/30 in my favor on this score… but the percentage becomes increasingly difficult to maintain as they get older. My oldest sister’s kid is 14, and I’m sure there’s no pleasing him. Punk.
So, I best get my poop in a group and start some serious shopping before the holiday sneaks up on me again. Because no-one wants to see me wrasslin’ a soccer mom over the last Elmo TMX on Christmas eve.