Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, Day 19 - Christmas Shopping

I don't like to shop.  I know, that's not normal for a female.  This will be the least interesting post of all!  And quite likely, the shortest.

Of course shopping is unavoidable, and doubly true at Christmas.  I would rather shop for others than for myself, so that helps.  I've tried every possible way - shopping early, shopping late, shopping online, shopping at the mall, shopping in the smaller stores.  It's still shopping...

The rest of the family?  Well, their shopping techniques are as varied as the individuals themselves.  We have the early get-it-done type and the wait-to-the-last-minute type and every conceivable variation in between.

I don't leave the shopping until Christmas Eve.  For one reason - much of my family lives away and packages must be shipped.  For another - I'm just not good with any last minute arrangements of any kind.

For many years my dear husband was a Christmas Eve shopper.  He was a procrastinator by personality, particularly involving anything he didn't really like to do or want to do.  His family struggled when he was growing up, and he also had great difficulty parting with money for any reason.  [He never minded if I spent his money, he just couldn't do it.  Yes, there was definitely also some Scot heritage going on with that.]  A further complication was his job - he and my Dad were in the propane gas business.  Late December in Northwest Arkansas is about when the first really bad winter cold spell descends and he was always working very long hours and exhausted prior to Christmas [...and on into Spring]. 

Just before closing time on Christmas Eve, Dear Sweet Husband would dash into the local jewelry store just down the street from his office and buy my gift.  That's really the only gift he had to worry about - I had already taken care of the rest of the family gifts.  I have always held the jeweler who was also a family friend responsible, but two years in a row I got the same lovely bracelet!  I never, ever told him. 

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