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I'm on schedule to start my Christmas shopping frenzyPosted Friday, December 19, 2008, at 12:02 PM
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing.
It's the last weekend before Christmas Day and some -- like myself -- have actually come to terms with our personal procrastination and realize that it is probably time to seriously start to take some action and head out into the retail jungle to purchase some gifts.
I know a lot of folks -- some in my own family -- who have had their gifts purchased and neatly wrapped for months now. They are now resting under the Christmas tree -- waiting to be opened.
I must confess, none of my gifts are under the tree yet and few have been purchased.
But I am on schedule.
This is normal for me.
I'm sorry, but without the last minute nervous rush to find that perfect gift for those people who are special in my life, it just wouldn't be Christmas.
It's just me.
I am not a shopper at heart and it drives my family crazy.
I'm not Santa
I don't do lists.
I don't check a list to see who has been naughty or nice.
I don't plan too much.
I'm more of an inspirational, impulse buyer.
I like to aimlessly walk up and down the store aisles hoping something will strike my fancy and yell loudly at me -- "Buy me!".
To be honest, this technique doesn't always work.
There have been years -- many years -- when my gifts have simply bombed for a variety of reasons and the people that received a gift from me were standing in front of the return/exchange line on the day after Christmas.
I'm sorry, I tried.
But I really think that God shorted me a couple of helpings in the genetic distribution of "shopping genes".
I just don't have it.
It's really strange because my Mother was one of the most organized early Christmas shoppers I ever knew.
She would traditionally have all of her gifts purchased and wrapped before the 4th of July.
My Mom was a creature of habit.
She also would always hide her wrapped Christmas gifts in the same 'secret hiding place' in an upstairs walk-in closet.
I remember one year -- I think I was about 13 or 14 years old -- when all I wanted for Christmas was a new 20-gauge shotgun.
I had repeatedly told my mother about the gun and I knew for sure that she was going to buy it.
One day, I had the youthful inspiration that I would check out some of my wrapped up gifts.
It was August -- about a day before squirrel season opened.
I snuck up to the closet while my Mom was at work and found a long narrow box that I was sure contained my new gun. I carefully unwrapped it and found the shotgun of my dreams.
It was an answer to prayer and I was not about to let squirrel season pass without using my new gun -- even though Christmas morning was still more than four months away.
The next morning, I was sitting in the woods under a large walnut tree proudly holding my new shotgun.
I shot three squirrels that morning with a Christmas present I wasn't even supposed to have yet.
The next Saturday, I used the gun again and took home two more squirrels for my mother to fry.
After the two hunting trips, I returned to the closet, neatly wrapped up the gun -- just like my mother had prepared it -- and put it back in hiding.
On Christmas morning, I 'officially' opened up the box again and was very surprised to find my new gun.
My mother never knew I used it. She never smelled the gun powder and she never knew that her mischievous son had found her Christmas present hiding place.
Looking back, I am not proud about what I did that August day many years ago. But it happened and possibly provided me with some parental insight to the resourcefulness of youth when my own daughters were growing up years later.
Nonetheless, it has to be one of my most memorable Christmas moments and it happened in August.
As this year's Christmas dawns on us let us not forget the reason for the Christmas celebration -- to commemorate the birth of Christ our Savior.
I get very annoyed when some of those secular-minded individuals who try to tell me that it is not politically correct to simply say Merry Christmas.
They prefer Happy Holidays.
As you see the many slogans being pandered around you, take time every day to think about the real meaning of what is being said.... "Peace on earth, good will to men"... "Joy to the world"... "Hark, the herald Angels sing"... "'round yon virgin, mother and Child".
Christmas is much more that what it has been molded into by many in our society.
It is not the receiving -- or even the giving -- of material gifts.
The true meaning of Christmas cannot be found in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," or in Dr. Seuss' 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'.
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ -- the greatest gift any of us could ever receive.
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