The Good and Bad of Christmas
Christmas time is special at our house. At heart, I’m still a kid who gets excited. However, not everything is perfect during the holidays.
Most people have horror stories about shopping during the season. Some even set out on Black Friday to find wonderful deals. I’m not about to place one foot in a store on that day. Instead, I go before that infamous time, and on many occasions in the past, I have finished all my shopping well before Thanksgiving.
My primary job is to search out gifts for Amy. I made her cry on our first Christmas together—no a good cry—because I bought her hot curlers and some other “dorky” stuff. Hey, we’d just gotten married five days earlier, and I didn’t know “jack” about buying things for a woman. I did learn.
A couple of times I bought pieces of furniture to refinish, and she seemed pleased. Then I bought clothing for her. Sometimes I picked a winner, and sometimes the presents were duds. The good thing is that I always kept the receipt. Amy liked that because she could exchange presents and shop for items that she liked.
Now I ask for a list of things she wants. From that I make selections. Sometimes I deviate from the list and get something I think she’ll like. Again, the receipts are tucked away in case the gifts don’t pass muster. Overall, I’m successful in pleasing my wife at Christmas. The rest of the year, I’m not so sure.
Another task with which I am charged is finding items for “stocking stuffers” for the kids. I enjoy stalking stores like Dollar General, K-Mart, and Walgreens for atypical Christmas presents. De-Icer was a hit with all one year. A lint cleaner to use on refrigerators and other appliances became a useful tool, even though I bought them as gag gifts. Some of my selections have become the butts of jokes. It seems each year the kids pull out pairs of finger nail clippers, tire pressure gauges, and chap sticks. I’m always open to good suggestions for future stocking presents.
Of course, there are some things about Christmas that drive me crazy. The crowds are one. I don’t do well in them, and my nerves fray and temper grows short in traffic jams and rude persons who jump line or push through to reach their destinations. The only time I enjoy those crowds and places is when my shopping is complete. Then, the best entertainment for the weekend is sitting at the mall and watching folks go nuts trying to find gifts that are in short supply. I sit and smile at their panic and thank the good lord my shopping is completed.
The most stressful part of the process is wrapping presents. For the life of me, I can’t make beautiful packages. I never get the edges of the paper cut straight and always use too much paper for one present. Even though I use a half a container of tape, the gift still slips and slides inside its covering. It’s sexist to say this, but I think wrapping packages correctly is something that’s built into a woman’s genetic make-up and absent in men’s.
So, we’ll meet the kids on Christmas and exchange gifts. They’ll be pleased because Amy has again done a wonderful job. My poor wife will give me a fake smile and open pitifully wrapped boxes or items stuffed in gift bags. She can rest assured that I have receipts for everything in case I didn’t quite get the right thing or chose the wrong color. Still, it’s Christmas and a wonderful time for family and friends.
Have a good one!!!!