A Christmas (Shopping) Story

A Christmas (Shopping) Story

So this holiday season has totally gotten away from my wife and me.  Cut us some slack we have had a busy last couple of months, but getting Christmas shopping done was a priority this past weekend.  So we had to come up with a game plan because we wanted to get it done this weekend and leave only each other to shop for, which is easy because I am on vacation and she can go when I am at either a practice or game.  This had the potential to be a stressful day but we handled it with the precision of sniper during World War II.

The plan was to just get up and go and be done before the stores got absolutely crazy.  So we were up around 7 a.m. and we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee, muffins and munchkins for the little lady.  Our usual stop is Honey Dew but we had a gift card for DD and just had to use.  Sorry Honey Dew, please forgive us, we will be back on Sunday.  As I order my 2 coffees with cream (1 decaf), 2 Coffee Cake muffins and 3 chocolate munchkins the DD employee says to me “Will that be it honey?”.  I immediately looked at my wife who was laughing because she knows that type of banter bothers me. 

So the list wasn’t very long it was 4 nieces, 1 nephew, 1 god daughter and her brother, because he’s kind of the man.  We spent the week accumulating lists from their parents and off we were.  The first stop was Target, we got there at 7:52, the store did not open until 8:00 and there was a group of ladies outside the door waiting to get in, coffees in hand.  Kohl’s, which is right next to Target was open and my wife suggested that we go there and then hit Target.  Easy for her to say since she already ate her breakfast, as I don’t like to eat and drive unless I have (see blog from 12/16).  As I was eating my breakfast I was watching the group of ladies gearing up for the morning.  It was like a scene from Hopkinton on Patriots Day Monday in April.  They looked like they were getting ready for a Marathon.

So the doors open up at 8:01.  So this brings up an interesting argument.  The store’s hours say that they open up at 8:00, heaven forbid that they open up one or two minutes early because there are people waiting outside.  However, I understand why they don’t, they need to get the store ready.  But in this case they opened late, not significantly and when we went in there boxes in the isles everywhere and you could not find an employee to help you anywhere.  If I were the type of shopper that needs constant assistance I would be annoyed. But I am not and I wasn’t.

My wife and I attack the small list we had pretty quickly, but when it came to getting a Wii game for my niece we needed assistance and that is where we lost some time.  Not only did the girl tell us she would be right there, I had to go back in get her and listen to her say “I’m sorry, I forgot”, no kidding.  So we take care of my niece and nephew with the assistance of a quick call to my brother-in-law.  Then it was to my two nieces.  This was going to be difficult because I have never heard of what they wanted.  So we looked around for 10-15 minutes and I finally said “this is why Al Gore invented the internet”.  I went to Target on-line pulled up the product.  Not only were they insanely priced, they were online only items.  Game plan needs to be re-worked.  Nieces off to the side for the moment. 

So now to my god daughter and her brother.  I could have made this purchase with relative ease, but I complicated it more than I had to, but then I regrouped.  I usually get her the same type of gift every holiday and birthday, it’s the safe play.  But my friend had made mention that he was putting his daughters Christmas list together so I text him and his wife to ask for an item off the list.  After waiting for responses I started to say how difficult I was making it, so my wife found something within our safe play range and we went with it.  Her brother got clothes because my wife has something about buying little boys clothes that makes her happy.  That is a reason why I want my wife to have a girl the next time around.  While looking for gifts I saw that same group of women from the front of the store surrounding a Target employee in front of an empty shelf.  They looked perturbed that the store would actually sell what they wanted to buy

So now it comes to shopping for our little one who is ironically with us.  Our daughter loves books so my wife drops me off at Barnes and Noble and her and I go hang out in the kids section while my wife heads back to Target to shop for her.  My daughter was crazy in the store as it seemed to have been the meeting place for parents because all the stores at Blackstone open up at different times, totally screwing up games plans for people.  Lucky for us all our stores were open.  While my daughter was tearing apart the kids’ book section I had downloaded the Amazon app and finished off the shopping for my nieces on my phone.  God love technology.

The last it was at the Solomon Pond Mall to grab a Disney character for our daughter.  This was creative as we had our daughter with us and we couldn’t not take her in there.  So the plan was for me to run interference with our daughter while my wife made the purchase.  While at the mall we saw the funniest thing ever.  A car in front of us while we were looking for parking spot parks.  Then immediately pulls out, cuts us off and then parks in another space…30 feet closer to the mall.

I guess that is the point of this rambling story.  The Christmas shopping season does things to the human psyche that makes some people become irrational like waking up at 4:00 am the day after a Holiday to go shopping, make people go crazy over parking spots and make people call complete strangers honey (that happened to me twice that day).  Needless to say that we did all of our Christmas shopping is a little over 3 and a half hours.  We made Christmas shopping our bitch and we were very proud of ourselves for that.

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