Christmas Shopping: A Curse on All Men


Here’s a story I wrote two Christmases ago. It is as true today as it was then.

The photo warning above should have raise a large red flag for you. You ask, “What, pray tell, could have a man in such a sour mood at The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?” You wanna know what’s got my Fruit of the Looms in a wad at The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has my drawers all twisted up in a Palomar Knot, that’s what!

Let me splain.

I went Christmas shopping again to day with my wife and Bailey the Three Year Old. Having spent the great majority of my adult life as a bachelor, and damn good one, I have done very little Christmas shopping over the past thirty-five years. The main reason for that is that I was always working somewhere far from my family. I never had enough time off to make a trip back home anywhere near feasible. So, I had no reason to do much Christmas shopping. Back then, nobody owned a computer, so online shopping was nonexistent. Now that online shopping is so easy and convenient, I’d rather do that than go all over town looking for the latest money wasting toy that one or both of my little girls must have or they will be cast asunder by their friends and classmates.

Before I go on any further, I gotta say up front that I HATE SHOPPING! I am a guy. If I need to go shopping for anything, I make a list, go in the store, grab the items on the list, pay and leave. I like it that way. My wife, on the other hand, is not quite that shopping-efficient. Over the last four and a half years that I have lived in Maine, I have tried every method known to mankind and a few others not yet made up, to get Heather to be a little more organized about shopping. I am an abject failure at trying to do so. I don’t easily admit defeat, but I have given up on trying to make an efficient shopper out of my wife. I’d have better luck trying dig another Panama Canal with a teaspoon. Therefore, here I sit a defeated man.

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, I really do like Christmas a lot. Especially since I have two daughters young enough to enjoy all the guessing games, shaking the presents under the tree to see if they can “see” what’s in the box and, of course, getting woke up at 4:00AM, preparing to stumble down the stairs to see what treasures Santa has delivered. I KNOW what Santa delivered(!) I have the register receipts to prove it! But, for the sake of my children, every Christmas Day, I wake up when they come into mine and Heather’s bedroom sounding every bit like the Grambling Marching Band as they burst through the bedroom door. I love my kids and I would do anything I could to make them happy, so I jump out of bed, as best an arthritic middle aged man can do, and go downstairs to see all the Christmas goodies I am all too familiar with. There is one more major reason I have learned to be more actively involved with Christmas shopping. If I don’t go when I am told to go, I will no longer be one with my gazebos. Heather promised me that. And after fifty-four years together, my gazebos and I have grown to be quite happy with the gazebo status quo.

Having said all that, I wish just once, that my gazebos and I could sleep in on Christmas Morning without the threat of a gazebo-ectomy looming large. Until then, I stand a conquered man, gazebos thankfully intact.

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