All I Want for Christmas

I spent considerable time this holiday season complaining about how the Christmas season started so early this year. Long before Thanksgiving, friends were saying they had their shopping finished. Christmas decorations were up in the stores way before Halloween. Crabby crabby crabby, that was me.

Well, Monday I learned an important lesson. Though many are shopping earlier than ever, and many are shopping on the internet, there are still a HUGE number of people who leave their shopping until just before Christmas.

Family_Ties_castWhen I think of last minute shopping, I never fail to recall that very hilarious episode of the always-funny television show that ran throughout most of the 1980s – Family Ties. The show featured Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton, the conservative Republican son of two hippie parents. In one of the episodes, Alex had neglected to do any of his Christmas shopping and he found himself on Christmas Eve without a single gift purchased. Long before the days of Amazon or stores being open 24 hours, Alex ended up doing his shopping at the only store that was open – 7-Eleven. So he bought things such as Bic lighters and beef jerky. Maybe you had to be there. I thought it was very funny.

As for me, I have mostly been finished with my shopping for quite a while. I even got all of my gifts wrapped a couple of weeks ago, something very unusual for me. I knew that I would be unable to keep the grandkids from snooping in my office where the gifts were being kept. That face was good incentive to keep them from prying the only almost-foolproof way – by wrapping them. Not completely foolproof, but good enough.

Not only is my shopping long completed, but I also managed to do the great bulk of my shopping without entering a store. Yes, friends, I was one of those internet shoppers this year. Only three out of my many gifts were purchased from a real live store, and all three were bought long before we were in the throes of the Christmas season.

There was an exception, however. A few of the people with whom I exchange gifts receive a gift card from me. One is my step-grandson, who is 21 years old. I knew exactly the store from which I wanted to give him a card – MAC (the cosmetic line, not the computer). I know very little about make-up since the only time I even make an attempt is when I put on some mascara for church. My all-out effort to look good for the Lord. But I knew that I had seen a MAC counter within a Macy’s store at some point. And since I’m frequently down near a Macy’s store when I have my weekly breakfast or lunch with Court, I figured there was no hurry. I would just get it when I was in that area.

Well, Monday I was in the area, and ran into the Macy’s to purchase the gift card. After unsuccessfully searching for the MAC counter, I asked a salesperson if they sold MAC products. Nope. Not every Macy’s has a counter, she told me. The nearest one? Park Meadows Mall.

OMG. As hard as I tried to avoid having to go to a mall during the Christmas season, I was going to be forced to go to one of Denver’s busiest malls four days before Christmas. Well, I told myself, how bad could it be.


This is exactly how I felt (photo courtesy

It was bad. Very bad indeed. Worse than I imaged. Not only was there not a single, solitary parking space available out of the literally thousands that exist, once I admitted defeat, it took me a full 45 minutes just to get out of the surrounding area. It was enough to aggravate Santa Claus.

When I got home, I went on their web site (where I should have gone in the first place) only to learn that you can purchase gift cards online and have them delivered directly to the recipient’s email.

Which is what I did.

Christmas shopping – DONE.