Friday, November 25, 2016

Attention Black Friday Shoppers!

Our solitary salute to Thanksgiving!

You know who you are. Your idea of rip-roaring fun is lining up in the chilly, pre-dawn hours this morning in front of Best Buy or Target or Walmart in order to snag the Door Buster Specials. You’re the kind that has every Christmas present wrapped, labeled and ready to go a month (or more) in advance—and you always come in under budget.  I admire your energy, especially if you are also the one who pulled off that ridiculous Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Kudos to you, as you stagger in the front door, heavy laden with shopping bags. Now you can relax for a bit, no?

No. It’s now time to craft the ultimate family Christmas card and accompanying letter! In past years, my mailbox would be crammed with the fruits of your labors for weeks ahead of December 25th. You thought to snap everyone on the beach last summer, dressed all matchy matchy with your white pants and blue denim shirts! The voluminous update accompanying this lovely photo would tell the glad tales of weddings, graduations, vacation extravaganzas, new houses and new babies.  Nowadays, many of these masterpieces are sent via email or Facebook, and Mr. or Ms. Postperson doesn’t have quite so much to do. But you still manage to far outshine those of us who lost our Christmas card address list back in 2003 (that would include yours truly), and haven’t send a Yuletide greeting since.

I come by my planning-averse personality naturally. A family story tells of poor sister Maureen’s 6th birthday, Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963. Mom tended to wait and hit the stores on the birthday itself, and that year those stores were all closed (it was the day after JFK’s assassination). Sad as we all were about that tragic event, little Mo was sadder still, with no gifts to open until the following week.

I don’t wait quite that late to shop, but I come pretty close. And on the rare occasions that I do plan ahead, I can never remember where I hid my finds when it comes time to deliver the goods (this just happened the other day, as I scoured the house in search of a gift I had bought for Julie at her favorite Rehoboth boutique last summer). So it may be for the best that my holiday shopping doesn’t occur too far ahead of time. My formula for success? Sending Steve out to the mall Christmas Eve with a list (he doesn’t mind—or so he says), and, of course, the blessing of Amazon Prime. “Want it tomorrow? Order in the next two hours and 47 minutes” and there I am, frantically entering my credit card numbers, two hours and 46 minutes later.

So have a ball today, uber-organized friends! Enjoy the crowds, the thrill of the chase, the satisfaction of a job well done! I’ll be right here, idly scrolling through your perfect Turkey Day family photos on my computer as I realize we forgot to take any!

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