I was one of THOSE people this week

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You know the ones.

People who don’t do a stitch of Christmas shopping until the days of December begin with a ‘2’.

It was just a horrible combination of time + money availability not lining up until after the 15th of the month.

Then because my company is so generous with the holiday time off, I looked at my last day being 12/21 (ending at noon mind you) and thinking that 3.5 days was somehow PLENTY enough to get things done.

Sure, I am hosting lunch as usual which means cleaning and meal planning but NO WORRIES right? 3.5 whole days!

OK, then I remembered I was invited to an old friend’s house on the evening of the 24th. Which is GOOD since Alex is gone and I am quite used to sitting at home on the 24th watching It’s A Wonderful Life and waiting for his dad to drop him off here. Which isn’t happening this year since they are in Sweden. So rather than possibly sitting at home feeling blue it is good that I have a change of routine that takes me out of the house.

Except I have to leave here at 3:30 tomorrow.

So now I am down to 3 days.

And then Nick calls to remind of the 3 appointments he has Wed afternoon, Thursday evening and Friday mid-day.

All good and necessary as he FINISHES his DUI classes (finally!) and also gets some much needed medical visits in. He got himself a JOB starting next week – just part time but it’s WORK and that’s awesome.

But – this means chunks of time taken out of each day.

And suddenly, 3.5 days doesn’t seem quite so much!

I shopped locally Wed afternoon and marveled at how crowded it was. Not horrid, but surely more packed than normal in our local shopping center.

I had to hit the mall Thursday and it truly was PACKED. I was mostly surrounded by men or men +boys shopping for their women. I even was asked to consult with a couple of them on purses! Even though it was packed I was able to check out pretty easily and zipped out of there feeling not too stressed.

The roads were just teeming with cars though. Many zipping around as if no one else was on the road. That part was kinda scary.

Another outing early this morning  to another packed to the gills store where the checkout line wound just about half way back into the main aisles. It moved quickly thankfully and the gal noticed that a picture frame I had picked up had been cracked. Of course, what she didn’t know is that it most likely was cracked IN my basket as I carried it through the store along with a wine bottle which clearly rolled into it one too many times! Oopsie.

Got out of there and then had to take Nick to the doctor and then we went to Wal Mart. Yes, Wal Mart on December 23rd. THAT was fun! So many people were cruising through those aisles that I swear we were breaking a capacity load of some kind. And I only had to get ONE thing!

The checkout line Gods smiled on me again though and we got out of there largely unscathed (there was the shopping cart that clipped Nick’s ankle, but he’s recovering nicely).

Another sort of stressful drive home past a fully engulfed big rig fire and YAY – I was done!

Then the wrapping began.

It’s still not done.

3 more boxes.

And I still have to get a few things at the grocery tomorrow.

And clean the house.

But I took the time tonight to make a pot of Glogg and Renee and I wandered around looking at Christmas lights.

New traditions.

But – I would be quite happy to never again be the last minute shopper driving around between 12/21-12/23 pulling her hair out to find everything for everyone on her list.

I suppose everyone has to do it once and that I am lucky it took this long to hit me.

I much prefer ordering online in November & sitting at home while UPS & Fed Ex deliver the gifts!

I’ll be the one sleeping all day Monday for sure 🙂

Merry Christmas!

The Airing of Grievances

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Happy Festivus! Now, I know that given my usual proclivity for decorating that you might thing this was MY doing, but no. Just a random photo found on the internets. I don’t actually do anything formally for this other than, well, that which I am quite good at: The Airing of Grievances!! I know, I know, you are thinking that I do that all year long, why actually mark off a particular day, right? Well, ’cause it’s nice to sort of wrap up the year’s gripes on all topics into one tidy list, then burn ’em in the fireplace and clean the slate for the next year. So without further ado….here’s my list…some flat out stolen from Bill in Portland Maine’s diary today and some of my own. Enjoy, and feel free to steal for your own list if anything hits you where it counts 🙂

>> President Obama, for not enacting my agenda fast enough.  (Bill)

>> The San Diego Padres for trading away Jake Peavy, letting Trevor Hoffman walk  & now threatening to trade away our home town hero Adrian Gonzalez. It’s bad enough that you’ve competed the last two  years for worst record in baseball, now you want to take away *any* reason the fans might have to go to games?

>> John McCain and Sarah Palin, for being the whiniest losing presidential ticket ever. (Bill)

>> The traditional media, for another year of quoting politicians, “experts” and spokespeople without asking the fundamental question: “Are they speaking the truth, or am I being played for a sucker?” Too many times the answer is: Like a Tootsie Pop. (Bill)

>>Speaking of the media – any program that features guests from both sides of an issue for a ‘debate’ which is never a ‘debate’ but just a full out screaming over each other match. Waste of my time people!

>> Family values titans Tiger Woods, John Ensign and Mark Sanford, for thinking with the wrong head. (Bill)

>> Credit card companies that skirt new federal regulations and charge 80 percent interest. (Bill) with my addendum: Skank of America specifically for sending notice that my new purchases will be charged at 30 percent moving forward.

>> Joe Lieberman, walking proof that backstabbers and liars do, indeed, prosper. Remember that, kids! (Bill)

>> Wall Street barons, for returning to their greedy, greedy ways and not even having the decency to pick the confetti out of their hair and the caviar out of their teeth before they tell us how grateful they are to us for bailing them out. (Bill)

>> The 53 percent of Maine voters who repealed our gay marriage law and proved that we are, in fact, not a “live and let live” state. (Bill) My addendum: you really didn’t have to copy California on that one! And how crazy is it that Mexico City now has surpassed both states in providing equal rights for all?

>> All the two-faced “concernvative” citizens and pundits who are nitpicking things Obama is doing that Bush also did but they never nitpicked him for those things, did they? Noooooooooo, they most certainly did not. (Bill)

>>The OEC Pop Warner league for dominating yet another football post season and denying our teams a chance to play in Florida. Must you be the Yankees of youth football??

>>American Idol voters for screwing it up this year (though Adam is getting the last laugh with higher CD sales than any of the others). American Idol itself for interrupting Glee, the best new show on television which I would rather be watching since I already HAVE my all-time Idol 🙂

>>Female co-workers who seem allergic to putting on a new roll of toilet paper!

>>ANYONE who parks/stops in a red zone/school drop off line – NO, you people do NOT own the planet, be considerate!!

>>People who don’t clean up after their dogs, really, anywhere, but particularly on my lawn!

>>Cranky charity directors who clearly have not learned the lesson that you catch more flies with honey, Honey! ROWR! Way to suck some spirit out of a day of giving.

>>Bloggers who only allow partial feeds to show through Reader programs. Yeah, that still bugs & I can say that because I’ve fixed mine 🙂

>>Cats who think it’s fine to wake up their human to play catch at 2am.

>>Any radio station that plays Creed or Nickleback

>>Red wine induced headaches like the one I have now – so cruel!