It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed and I have yet to learn my lesson from previous years.
In the past, I have always shopped for gifts at the last minute, finding the necessary cash by searching under the couch cushions and checking under the mats in the car for extra change. I always rush from one store to the next like a chicken without a head, or a shopper without a plan.
After all the gifts are purchased, wrapped and put under the tree, I heave a heavy sigh of relief and promise myself, “Next year will be different. I will have a Christmas Club and save the money over the year so that I don’t have to deal with this pressure next year. I will begin to shop in October and be done by December 1 and I will put up my decorations on Thanksgiving weekend.”
And just like that I blink -- next year is here and I’m still searching under the car mats for an extra dime. It’s December 11, I haven’t purchased a single gift, and the prospect of a tree up before December 25 is getting slimmer and slimmer.
Is it me, or are the 12 months getting shorter and shorter?
I have a friend that puts her tree up the week before Thanksgiving. Her shopping is done by Black Friday. She gets to enjoy the holiday season unfettered and frenzy-free, sipping hot cocoa by the light of the twinkling branches.
I hate her.
I have told her so on many, many occasions, “Fran, I just can’t tolerate people like you.” This, however, has no effect on her. She just puts on another Christmas album and enjoys another cup of hot cocoa.
Another friend buys so many gifts during the year that she needs to write down in those little calendar diaries where she places them so that when Christmas week arrives she can retrieve them, wrap them and put them under the tree. Just like that -- easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
I hate her, too.
I tried it one year, you know, to be organized. I dutifully bought the little calendar in January. I bought several gifts and wrote down what they were, who they were for and where I hid them. By September the diary, along with the gifts, went MIA. By the time I found it and the gifts, Christmas was over and we were celebrating Easter.
So I ask myself, “How does one buy a gift in June for an event in December and not lose track?”
Beats me. I just don’t have the imagination to project that far in advance, nor the memory. Not for nuthin’, but I find it hard to project how much toilet paper I will use in two weeks, let alone Christmas gifts in July.
So off I go to the store, credit cards in one hand, list in the other and my head somewhere in the basement looking for that extra box of ornaments. I have, however, started a Christmas Club for next year. Now if I can only remember where that pass book might be.
E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@co