Rules for Christmas Shopping
With the days before Christmas rapidly dwindling, there are some out there who not only already have every single perfect gift bought – but gaily wrapped and snuggled under the before now vibrantly decorated sparkling tree. Their thoughtful planning has every reservation made, every guest list filled with no one forgotten, every detail immortalized, every schedule scheduled and every event memorized, every greeting card ready to mail …
Who are these people and how do we get to them?
I'm not jealous or envious, mind you, of the meticulous in spirit who can sit back now enjoying their eggnog by the fire – you sorry - while the rest of us duel each other with jerky shopping carts on the way to a Holiday Heart Attack.
So here's a little advice. Whether you’re buying a new yacht for Uncle Trump or just purchasing requested Family Guy underwear for some big guy over in the IT department whose name lucky you drew, there are certain requirements while gift-shopping during The Holiday Season.
The disclaimer: Follow these profound rules of Christmas shopping at … wait a minute … disobey them …yeah, that’s it … disobey these profound rules of Christmas shopping at your own risk.
1. Never shop for that Someone you have to live with afterwards when that Someone is in the store with you. No matter how much sneaking you try, that Someone always knows you’re shopping for her.
“No, this is for Aunt Dora.”
“You’re buying a lapel pin that has a diamond-studded letter ‘S’ on it for Aunt Dora.”
“Well, what’s her maiden name?”
“Well, don't you call her that Stupid Aunt Dora? There you go."
2. You know that wildly popular doll that you saw on the shelf last week but figured you’d wait and buy this week? Nope. There’s a lava lamp on that shelf now. Santa hopes that 6-year-old girl at home is the nostalgic type.
3. You can’t wrap a Big Wheel that’s not in a box and have the kid not figure out it’s a Big Wheel.
4. Liv dolls are really in this Christmas. But good ol' Troll dolls will someday rise in fashion again. (I hope it's before Christmas morning 2009.)
5. Never buy clothing for that Someone you have to live with afterwards unless you remember for sure their proper, exact, to the mark size and preference.
“Oh, thank you. But this isn't my color. Just whose color is it anyway?"
“Oh, thank you. But this is too small. What are you saying?”
“Oh, thank you. You kept the receipt?"
“Oh, thank you. I'll wear this one while the one you gave me for my last birthday is at the cleaners."
Come to think of it … never ever buy clothing for that Someone you have to live with afterwards.
6. You can buy clothing for other people, like your wife's very attractive younger sister. As long as you let that Someone pick it out so you’re not buying anything “too personal.” Like a raincoat or a Bears hat or a duck call or ...
7. Put off buying at least one present until Christmas Eve. Hitting a store or stores on Christmas Eve is an adventure the Navy can’t hope to match.
8. Drag a distant relative to the store with you to pick out presents. Lonely Cousin Jasper just loves the attention he gets by taking blame.
9. You’re bound to at least once test the Christmas spirit of the guy ahead of you by banging him on the heel with your shopping cart because the store will be so crowded. The result of your carelessness likely will be a test of your Christmas spirit – or an assault charge against the one of you least willing to abandon his cart and run away first.
10. There are professionals out there who have the full-time job of moving your car from the spot where you left it in the parking lot so you can’t find it when you exit the store. But they never stick around for the tip. In the holiday spirit of generosity I suggest you leave a twenty on the windshield before you go in the store. By the way, what store are you going to next?
11. Be sure to appropriately color-coordinate your gift wrap, your bows and your ribbon with each individual gift, especially if the recipient is a three-year-old. They are the ones who truly most appreciate your sophisticated décor as they bite into and chomp the gift wrap, the bows and the ribbon. Adults never notice such things.
12. Remember... it’s not the size of the gift that counts. It’s the thought. Of course, he bigger the gift, the better the thought, huh?