Who cares if it fits??

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Let this column ring with the joys of Christmas shopping.

I’m one of those Christmas shoppers who can be best described as a non-shopper. I hate it!

 I’m not even a last minute shopper, I’m more of a last three or four days kind of guy. Plenty of time. I postpone the dreaded ‘shop’ not because of a lack of good gift ideas, but most often it’s the lack of good Christmas cash.

To ease the burden of Christmas shopping I follow a strict routine, first getting some Christmasy gift idea in mind. Then check it out on the net, then contact the store. I always get the clerk’s name and I always try to get the item set aside. I always thank the clerk profusely for his efforts and as I hang up I always think if I get out there and my gift is nowhere to be found I’ll have the name of a certain sales clerk to rake over the coals. I think they call it ‘customer satisfaction.’

 I do kind of have this niggly admiration-teetering-on-hatred for those folks who spot that perfect Christmas gift in July and buy it then and there. They show tremendous practicality and common sense, but I’m far more familiar  and amused, by the guy spotting the perfect gift in July who says something clever like, “Leave it, I’ll pick it up later.” Later being now and the perfect gift isn’t there. Let’s pretend he finds a sales clerk.

“Oh, that item was part of our summer stock, sir. We won’t get any more of those things in until June. What about a rubberized car floor mat?”

 And I hate that wad of receipts I’m forced to tote about for the next six weeks while the treasured gift recipients decide whether it’s too tight or too small or the wrong colour for their eyes. These scraps of paper are so ripped, smudged, creased, torn, that finding  the Holy Grail would be easier than locating  the right receipt.

 I think it’s nice when the Christmas shopping junket with family and friends begins with: “Is this the closest parking spot you could get?”

 And it’s great to stand beside someone asking: “Will you get anymore of those things in before Christmas?” I catch the fatigue, frustration and disappointment in his voice as I glide off with the last one that I so wisely had set aside.

 And often the festive outing culminates with these words: “I don’t care if it’s what he wants! Let’s just get the damn thing and get out of here.”

Why am I not an on-line shopper? The descriptive abilities of my talking computer are limited, so I like to feel the gift. And now I’m ready, gifts in mind and plastic in pocket and after all is said and done could there be any better ending to the Christmas shopping ordeal than those magical words : “Would you like it giftwrapped?”

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