Looking For It
Christmas is almost upon us. For me personally, every year it's a slightly different take on the same themes:
- November denial stage
- Early December awakening
- Methodical procrastination
- Post Birthday wake-up call
- Frantic online button pushing
- Frenetic shopping on Saturday before Christmas
- Hasty wrapping and egg nog chugging
- Driving a zillion hours either east or west
- Catching my breath at Christmas service
- Enjoying the fruits of all the labor at Sister/Sister in-laws' house. (Jane K, Jane T, or Jill K)
My experience started of course with the tree purchase and lighting that I talked about in a previous post. Well that ended up working out great. Once the tree was decorated, it looked fabulous.
Then, last Sunday night as I was watching the football game, I got to watch the tree of beauty crash to the carpet. It made a tinkling, smashing sound and I think I made a slightly different sound. Not so much tinkling but more on the smashing kinds of sounds. The only loss in the event were two of our favorite ornaments - an antique one of Donna's and my 1991 Twins World Series ornament. Of course the ugly ornaments survived unscathed.
The excitement continued this week. I've decided that one of the reasons I hate shopping is the barrage that meets you at the door. When I walked into Gander Mountain, I was swarmed on by a man at the entrance asking if I wanted a chance to win $500?
"No, no thank you." I don't think I can afford that. Just here gift shopping, Jack.
"Do you like meat raffles, then?" he persisted.
"No, no thank you." I think we'd had this conversation already, but hey, I admire your intrusive nature. Just here to get a gift, Jack. Merry Meat Raffle to you.
I move on to Kohls to look for an item on my wife's gift list. As she will attest, I don't shop often. I have a clothes fairy who has much better taste in clothes than me. I credit this fairy with keeping me from looking like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
So as I'm wandering around Kohls, I stagger through the women's departments like a lost child. I always have a problem with this because there are like, seven womens departments at Kohls. There's Teens, Petite, Misses, Large, Senior, Ms, and a couple I'm sure I missed while I was there.
And the thing is, as I was looking for this specific item, I kept wandering into the lingerie and underwear department, which made me terribly uncomfortable. I'm sure security had me up on a couple of different video screens, and rightfully so.
Luckily I eventually found the item I was looking for. (Actually it was "plan B" which accounted for at least one extra inadvertent trip through lingerie.) So, I made my way up to the register, only to hear:
"Would you like to use your Kohls charge today?"
"No, no thank you," I answer politely.
"Do you have a Kohl's charge card?"
"Would you like to sign up for one and save 30% on your purchase today?" the clerk persists.
"No, not today, thank you." I'm just here to buy a gift, Jack. Got a schedule to keep. What do I owe so I can move along?
It's enough to drive me further into online shopping.
Anyhow, I finally found the Christmas spirit last night. I was wrapping presents to carols sung by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. There is something gratifying about putting the wraps on a gift for someone else. An outward looking act.
And I suspect I will find more of it tonight at our Advent service at Collective MKE and on Thursday at our Christmas Eve celebration.
Because, Lord knows the Christmas spirit can't be found at Kohls or the mall.