Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Surviving Christmas Shopping

This year I didn't wait until Christmas Eve to start or complete my shopping. I headed off to the mall last evening to risk my life and wallet at the retail outlets.

Amazingly, I survived.

It was touch and go for a bit, but after a rocky start, I managed to pull it together and remember everything on my list. Did I say list? Well, I didn't really have a list, more like a collection of unrefined gift ideas.

It was an experience, and I was even able to assist Chris with a purchase via the magic of cell phone technology--so I knocked a gift off her list while I was out.

I admit that it was fun to be out with the crowd--lots of families rushing to complete their shopping. People are different at Christmas. I think it is because they are thinking outside of themselves by looking for gifts for others--it changes perspective from inward focused to outward focused.

That is not to say every experience was good. In one store, I stood in line for 10 minutes to check out and then they forgot to offer me gift boxes so I had to go back later to get those. Admittedly, it was my first stop and I wasn't fully in the shopping "zone" yet.

My shopping experience spanned about three hours, and by then I was ready to call it a night. Except that I needed to make three stops on the way home--ugh! That is what I hate about shopping--there is always one more stop to make.

I do love shopping on Christmas Eve though. The rush knowing that the end is in sight coupled with the panic of trying to find the right items from the picked over shelves mingled with the time crunch. It helps to get me in the Christmas mood.

For now though--the shopping is done and I can begin to find the real Christmas mood.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge. MD

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