I shop on Xmas Eve. You heard me, I said I shop on Xmas Eve. Every year. With the retail buffoons extending the holiday to some time before Independence Day, I just don’t find that I’m truly ever in the holiday season until the actual HOLIDAY begins. For me, that’s Xmas Eve. Sure, I like candy canes and my roaring fire DVD. I like the rotund Burl Ives sliding around through the animated snow, egg nog martinis, Boris Karloff’s haunting voice, and I get all choked up every time I see It’s a Wonderful Life. I guess you could say I like some elements of Xmas.
I found years ago that the mega low marts and the malls are much less crowded on Xmas Eve. Exhausted, underpaid temporary cashiers are more likely to have a smile on their face, as they see the light at the end of the tunnel. 6 more hours and I’m FREE! Some are even humming a gleeful holiday tune. It’s exciting, it’s like the Friday before a 3 day holiday. I’ve also found that most people are completely tired of battling their way through the crowds, so they weakly let you pass, as they cannot bear another frustrated glare from another selfish shopper.
Now let me clarify.... I do a couple of recon missions, and utilize the web heavily in my search for the correct wonderful gifts for the family unit. Donned all in black, bandana around my forehead, biker jacket, big rocker boots, and I’m off the mall. PermaScowl firmly in place. Helps if you don’t shave for a couple days, too. At 6’3”, people see me coming and get out of my way. Swift and silent, my eyes hidden behind my shades, I scan the shelves and aisles for the gifts I want. If there is a popular item that may not be back on Xmas Eve, I’ll be sure to snatch that one thing up before my final mission. Jot down my findings to effectively plan my Xmas Eve attack. “I’ll be back," I tell the clerk. She dials security.
The other thing is, you’ve got all kinds of time to shop. With the web and longer store hours, don’t wait til Saturday at 2pm to head to your local mall. You’re asking to have a nervous breakdown if you START your shopping like that. Pick a Tuesday night, or a Monday afternoon. Set no goals. You do NOT have to do it all in one day. Why kill yourself for a bunch of people who probably won’t appreciate your gift anyways? You could go the gift card route.
Xmas cards.... Really? I don’t hear a peep from you all year, and you send me this card with golden angels and a cartoon Santa? Where was the get well card when I had my liver removed in May, huh? Save a tree and call me for chrissake.
While I’m at it, here’s a thought..... When you’re at the overcrowded mall, and you’re feeling like a pinball caught between to bumpers, think about all the people who would love to be in your shoes. Many families this year won’t be celebrating like years past. (thank you Recession!) Be thankful for your good fortune, and be nice to your fellow man. Maybe pick up an extra gift for the toy drive this year. I’m sure it will do wonders for a little heart in a neighborhood very close to yours.... Peace on Earth, good will towards Men, and all that happy hoo-ha. Unless of course, if you’re trying to snatch the last zebra striped Snuggie. I’ve got dibs.