Monday, December 6, 2010

On the First Day of Christmas . . .

Ahhh the holidays! Food, family, friends, suicidal thoughts . . . This year Christmas decorations were going up before Halloween. I was waiting for the marketing people to put up a nativity scene in October with baby Jesus wearing vampire teeth. If they dressed the Christ child in a diaper and wings, holding a bow and arrow they could leave the whole thing up until February. These days not everyone celebrates Christmas, but most folks celebrate something. That is why I say Happy Holidays; just like the marketing people, I think it is more inclusive and it covers all of them.

No matter what holiday is celebrated though, it seems they all require gifts. That is another requirement of the marketing people. It is like they have a meeting and decide to add another holiday on the calendar. One guy says, “Hey lets celebrate national free to be alive day.”
The other marketing guy says, “Yeah, but it isn’t really celebrating unless they have to spend money, so let’s make them pay for the air.”
And the first guy says, “What a great idea!”

The marketing people want you to panic, which is why they do those countdowns for everything. I will be in the store and see a giant sign “Only 362 more shopping days until Christmas!” What do I do? I panic and I start throwing stuff in my cart. Those guys want me to be in a perpetual state of shopping frenzy. It is enough to drive a person to the edge. I swear I am one Nerf gun away from ending it all! Ok, well maybe not ending it, but definitely leaving a really red welt on my temple. But still, you get the idea!

So anyway, for each holiday I have to do a lot of shopping. I am not a great shopper, but I do my best. Since my husband travels so much, I will sometimes ask him to pick things up for me, which is worse than just going to the mall myself. In my defense, I start by giving him very specific instructions and a list, and have him call me on his cell phone while he is at the store. I also debrief him on the specifics before he leaves the house and try to go over every possible scenario that may occur while he is at the store, but no matter what, I always get a cell phone call like this:

“Ok I am at the store and they do not have blue ones.”
“Well, he wanted a blue one.”
“They have black and red.”
“Are you sure they don’t have blue?”
“No, you are sure, or no you are not?”
“I mean they do not have any blue.”
“Did you ask a sales person?”
“Well what?”

***Noise of me screaming into a pillow*****

“What was that?!”
“Oh nothing. Why don’t you ask a sales person for help?”
“That is ok, I rummaged through the rack and I found a blue one.”
“What kind of blue is it?”
“Is it seafoam, or teal, or sky blue, or royal blue?”
“Ummmm . . . I know it isn’t navy.”
“Yes, but is it a light blue or a dark blue?”
“Well, it isn’t a bright blue.”
“Do you have something to you could compare it to?”
“You know the stars on the flag? It’s that color.”
“The stars on the flag are white. The background is blue.”
“Ok fine, it is the color of the background then.”
“Alright, I am going to take a deep breath and ask you one more question before I go shove my head in the oven and turn it on broil. You know when you are in kindergarten and you pull a crayon out of the box and it says blue on it? Is it that color?”
“Yeah! That is it exactly. And that was two questions.”
“That is the one he wants. Just go pay.”
“Are you sure you don’t need me to pick up anything else?”
“Yes, you are sure you don’t need me to buy anything else, or yes, you do need me to grab another gift?”

***Noise of me screaming into a pillow*****

So this holiday season, if you see a nativity where the Virgin Mary is wearing a green top hat and a button that reads “Kiss me, I’m Irish” just know that it wasn’t my idea.

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