Monday, December 19, 2005

'Twas the Week Before Christmas...

And all through the mall,
The people were hustling, even the small;
The cars and SUVs were parked outside,
In hopes the gifts were inside;
The adults hopped from store to store,
Making gift-giving a chore.

I swear I'm doing all of my Christmas shopping online next year. The last day off until the holiday has arrived for me and I rushed off to the stores to try and get gifts for three people. That's right, I really only need gifts for THREE people. My mom, my dad, and my mom's boyfriend. I will probably end up with some small gifts for Steve and the rest of the team, but I don't have that much shopping to do. You would think I could get it done in one day.

You would think, wouldn't you?

My mom is notoriously hard to shop for. When I asked her what she'd like this year for the holidays (because not asking and just buying things never works - she is always upset that I didn't get her the EXACT hand towel she saw five months ago at some random store), she waits two weeks and produces this: A spatula from Pampered Chef.

I know no one who sells Pampered Chef and even if I found a consultant, I could not have the gift by Christmas. I asked for other ideas. She tells me, "I don't know. I'm hard to shop for. Oh, I just ordered a bunch of books and I bought [favorite Christmas movie]."

My dad is a bit easier to shop for. He likes DVDs. Unfortunately the really great movies that I think he'd like he already has. He did tell me about one DVD-set he'd like and that is what he is getting. I only had to go to 5 stores to find it. Golf shirts, another one of Dad's suggestions, are not in season and finding gawdy Hawaiian shirts is not an easy task in Minnesota during the winter. Give it a couple of months when everyone has cabin fever and I'm sure the stores will be stocked.

What I did manage to find today:
A few new pairs of jeans (since I've outgrown some others (one downfall to the new job is the lack of 4 hours of forced exercise each day))
A new watch (the old one died a few months ago and I finally got a new one)
A stocking hat (because I live in Minnesota)
Hair dye (my roots are terrible!)
A few sweaters

After calling my mom back and telling her how utterly frustrated I am with shopping, she gave me an idea. One idea. She wants coffee beans. I don't know.

I thought that Target would be a good start to the shopping frenzy of the day. While I was able to buy a ton of things for me, I bought nothing for those on my lists. It was then that I decided to brave the mall.

The parking lot? Chaos! Those readers who habitate above 35 degrees lattitude understand that once it snows, the parking lots and side streets do not exactly become perfectly plowed. Sure, the large piles of snow is removed, but the process leaves behind a 1 to 2 inch base of packed snow and ice. People wander the lots, looking for their cars with bags of goodies and try not to fall. Drivers try not to crush them. The lines for parking spots disappear under the snow and out of every 100 parking spaces, at least 10 disappear.

Once inside the mall, the one with no department stores, I wandered from store to store, trying to find ANYTHING that would be appropriate gifts. I finally gave up and decided to head back to the car. I exited the store I was in and turned left, heading for an exit. About halfway to the exit is when I realized that I was walking away from my car, not towards it.

I went to my dad's to finish up a bit of laundry and spend time with him. I am tired of shopping. I still need gifts for my mom and her boyfriend. The 24-hour store may be my next stop, some night after work this week.

I am tired. I will probably post the pictures (not too many) from last night at karaoke in a day or so. DM may have some stories to tell from the night. It was slow at the Chalet. Karaoke ended rather early when the rotation ended up being DM and myself. Angie-Ang and Steve were there. Amy was there for a bit too. A guy named Craig showed up (he seems to know Amy and Angie-Ang.) Steve, the team lead, showed up. We also got to talk with Liz, James, and Matt at the end of the night. We were successful in not having Pete and Guru join us. The boy was there and said hello to me as he left. That was the night. Exciting, isn't it?