Have you noticed how amazingly fast Christmas disappears? It’s true. The local radio station, and every store has been playing holiday tunes for months and you were about to go crazy. Then two days later when you finally have your holiday party, and you ask for just one Christmas tune to liven things up they’re all like, “What?? Christmas Music?? I’m sure you’re mistaken. We’ve never heard of such a thing.” Even my Amazon Alexa informed me that after the twenty-fifth, Holiday was on a pay only basis. I paid the five bucks a month for unlimited service and was told it was only unlimited to stuff for the right time of year. It added, I was an idiot for asking.
The decorations come down even faster. Coffee shops are burning the red and green paper cups, lest they be caught with one the day after the holiday. I was doing some last-minute shopping on the twenty-fourth. The store was filled to bursting with shoppers looking for gifts, and tripping over the staff ripping down decorations in an effort to get those silly shoppers out of the holiday mood and into the New Year Spirit, to make sure they came back for the next sale. This is all a bit harsh.
The moment midnight hits, everywhere goes into Cinderella mode, and the magic disappears. The only glass slipper can be found hiding on a rack by the door covered in fifty percent off signs. If you should purchase one of these red and green items on that pseudo-diseased rack of shame, the manager comes out to thank you personally for helping him rid their store of such rubbish. The funny thing is that very rubbish was overpriced holiday treasure a mere two days before. My how things change when dancing at the retail ball. I just wish I had a Fairy Godmother to warn me of such things.
The issue, for many of us, is Christmas isn’t over on the day. For instance, the Orthodoxy celebrates Christmas on January sixth. By that time, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in retail who remembers it existed at all. I mean, that holiday was three major sales ago. Others, like a bunch of my entertainer friends, are super busy for all of December until about January third. I celebrate with them after they calm down. There are spread out families that can’t get together on the same day. I’m thinking they might like a bit of festive music when they get together, but no. The magic is over, the gown is rags and your car is now a pumpkin. This could probably explain why it doesn’t always start in the colder months. Vegetables are like that.
This year brings an even greater problem. Christmas can’t be over after the twenty-fifth. Why, you ask? Because all the gifts aren’t here yet. Yes, that’s right. Gifts have a life of their own this year. You see, if you’re like me, you go to the store and buy gifts. You don’t worry because they are in your hands. Not this year. Many stores are closed. For many reasons you can’t wear a mask or social distance. You likely just don’t want to, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I won’t tell your people if you don’t tell my wife. Deal?
You see I purchased all my gifts online this year. I thought it would be okay, because I am a man of my era and technology doesn’t scare me. Sadly, the greater issue is I am an indecisive man of my era who procrastinates. When I shop, I don’t think of silly things like delivery times. Don’t laugh at me, it’s my first time. I bet the first time you tried to play a violin concerto on your dog, it didn’t go the way you planned either.
Anyway, when I realized I wouldn’t be able to do my normal shopping I hemmed and hawed for a few days. Boy were my kids glad when I stopped hawing. Then I went on-line and looked for ideas. I made a list of what I wanted and checked it twice. That was pretty stupid. I mean, I just made the list, and wrote it in pen. When I checked it a few moments later, it was exactly as I wrote it. Checking it a second time was really just a waste of time. But, tis the season, and if Santa can do it so can I.
The point is I wasted a whole bunch of time and all those things that said they were available for Christmas, weren’t by the time I actually ordered them. Therefore, on Christmas eve, I had nothing to show for all the cash I paid during my shopping non-trip. What was I to do? I created the Green Bean Standard. I pasted an IOU on cans of green beans. The thought was that when a gift arrived, I would make a little celebration and trade the gift for the can. Brilliant Right? No.
You see the reason we had so many cans of green beans in the first place, was that my wife had agreed to make Green Bean Casserole for our church’s Christmas dinner for the poor. So, at ten that morning, my wife stole everyone’s IOU’s, baked them in an oven at three-fifty, and took them to church. I sincerely hope the poor enjoyed them.
So, now I’m stuck. I have no gifts, they have no IOU’s, and I have to figure out a way to keep the holiday going until they all arrive. Plus, the natives are getting restless. You see I’m not the only one who messed up delivery times. My sister mailed their gifts and then found out that the US Post Office has been under funded by the current administration, and can’t get mail out on time. My mother, who is in an elderly living facility, has been unable to get out since March. She has gifts for my kids but we can’t see her till she gets the vaccine sometime in January. In simpler words it was a bleak holiday for my kids. Major OOPS!
You know I have often made fun of the song The Twelve days Of Christmas, siting those days are after the holiday and why would your true love wait for those gifts anyway. I think I have it figured out though. Now stay with me on this.
My thinking is, your true love ordered all this great stuff online and it didn’t come in. In a total panic, they went to the woods and somehow snagged a partridge, rushing back to the house they grabbed a pear sapling from the green house they were planning to plant in the spring. Now they know it ain’t much of a gift but they give it on the day after, hoping the ordered stuff comes through. When it doesn’t, they run to a pet store, which has nothing left but a couple of mangy turtledoves. Of course, they buy and give them, but you can see where this is going.
The moral of this story is: Online Shopping Sucks!
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