Today is my second official day of Christmas break.  I never know what to do with large, awkward chunks of downtime, but today I filled that awkward time up, (mostly), with Christmas shopping.  The Gap was my first stop, and it (both fortunately and unfortunately) was having a 40% off all clearance items sale.  Millions of women swarmed the racks with facial expressions that are normally only saved for the front-lines in guerilla warfare.

Target was next.  Lots of families, comprised of kids asking for whatever seemed shiniest in the particular aisle they were in, and parents snarking back with things like, “No means no,” and “Do you seriously think I’m made of money?”  Lots of precious memories in the making.

I went to Homegoods after Target, and was feeling pretty stressed out about a few things in my own life (and the lives of all of those crazy families I just witnessed).  The stress stayed with me throughout my time in the store, but it lessened quite a bit once I realized that I was actually surrounded (in this home decorating store, mind you) by a bunch of middle-aged men with panic-filled expressions on their faces.  I stood in the clearance aisle for about fifteen minutes next to a man who kept eyeing a giant tye-dyed peace sign.  It looked like maybe you’d stick in your garden… or your attic.  Alright, I’m going to be honest, this thing was horrid.  Ugly sign was $15, marked down from $75.  Desperate guy would walk by it, and then kind of stare around blankly at everything else down the other side of aisle, and then look back at ugly sign with sort of a wild look in his eyes.  I wanted to help him… redirect him… he was clearly on the edge of losing his mind and was coming very close to making a mistake.  I have a feeling that his wife must have said something to him like, “Anything from Homegoods is beautiful…Surprise me.”  I had to exit the scene.  I  couldn’t watch.  (Enter maniacal laughter.)

Holiday burnout is such a mystery to me.  At the beginning of every November, I think, there is no way that I will get sick of the holidays this year.  I love the holidays.  They are magical. Tralala. That feeling lasts for most of November, but for some reason, perhaps the fact that I always start listening to Christmas music way too early, I’m pretty much done by December 4th.  The problem with this, of course, is that I am also a procrastinator, ergo, I do my Christmas shopping three days before Christmas.  When it is no longer fun and festive.  Only stressful.  This has been the case my entire life.

My crowning moment was when I was ten and realized that I hadn’t gotten anything for my family yet, and it was CHRISTMAS EVE.  Somehow I convinced my dad to take me to the dollar store that night and I spent three hours walking around with my like, six dollars, trying to figure out the perfect present for everyone.  Yeeesh.  I may never learn.

Merry Christmas everyone.  That’s all I’ve got for now.  Mixed in with a taste of humbug.   Bah.

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