Join Diane, Delores, Joan (in the comments) and me as we dissect this subject and pound it into poetic shape, making it a beautiful thing. Or an interesting thing, at least. Why don't you write a little something, too? You can leave it in the comments at any of our blogs, or if you post it on your blog, write a note in the comments so we can follow the breadcrumbs back to your online home and cheer you on.
We celebrate a secular Christmas here, a chance to gather some of the family at the beginning of the long winter, enjoy a traditional meal, and exchange gifts. But whatever and however you celebrate, I'm pretty sure there's likely some shopping involved and you can probably relate to my poem this week.
For me, shopping at this time of year is sometimes a pleasure but more often it is filled with doubt, vacillation, second-guessing my choices, a sinking feeling, and sore feet. We have a relatively limited selection of stores in our area. I don't do online shopping because I want to see, touch, and even smell the stuff I buy. (If you've ever brought home "eau de rubber tire" shoes or "eau de mustiness" paper products, you'll understand why.) So it's not often possible to come up with a great idea and then shop for it. It's more a matter of checking out what our stores have and trying to match available merchandise with the people on our gift list.
Please Just Shoot Me Now
Christmas is coming
In twenty-one days,
And I'm in the midst of
A gift-finding haze.
Every store in the mall
Is a feast for the eyes . . .
Every store in the mall
Is full of big lies.
They're all so inviting,
With colours and scents,
But I know I will NEVER
Find perfect presents.
I wander the aisles
In a path most erratic;
With eyes all glazed over,
I'm on Automatic.
I'm hot and I'm cranky
In these winter clothes;
My feet hurt, my back hurts,
And DRIP goes my nose.
I pick up a geegaw
And carry it around,
But I know before leaving
I'll have set it back down.
No one needs geegaws
Or whatsits or whosits
Or trinkets or baubles
(They ESPECIALLY don't need
I pick up a toy
And carry it around,
But again before leaving
I put it back down.
Ditto for clothing,
And slippers, and books,
Jewellery, wallets, and
Everything That Cooks.
What's that I hear?
The stores are now closing?
I plod to the door,
My plans decomposing.
The List is no shorter,
My time runneth out . . .
I'll be back tomorrow --
Of that I've no doubt.
Thanks, Pixabay, for the awesome picture of me.
P. S. Guess what? I did go back, the very next day, and, lo - I whacked my list nearly in half, in one go. Maybe all that "looking" paid off after all.
QUESTION: How do you attack your "to buy for" list? Do you come up with ideas and then shop for them, or do you have to "take what you can get"?
I really, really dislike shopping. I have almost total sales resistance except for plants and books.
I tend to wander, browse and hope. And have a few favoured venues - a local high-end craft market, and a few other stores.
And I am always convinced that no-one gives worse gifts than I do. And rather a lot of the family has birthdays in the next six weeks...
I tend to go to the bookstore, which is a dangerous thing for me because while I'm picking up copies of Daniel Quinn's books to give away, I have to force myself to ignore all of the shiny, new books that have come out since the last time I was in there that I can't afford to buy for myself...
-Doug in Oakland
I don't Christmas shop anymore. once the kids and grandkids were all older, we got to a stage of giving a gift card instead, or some cash. but that began to feel a bit silly with me giving $xxx and getting back $xxx, so we've all agreed it's time to stop. Only the youngest family member, aged 4, gets a gift to unwrap.
Lol. I enjoyed your poem. Great job!
I usually have an idea in mind first. On-line is one of my choices now though.
I quickly bought gifts for a family I do not know (adopted Christmas family) but when it came to my family this year, I mimic your terrific poem. Pick up, put down, confusion, and disappointment. I will go out again this week and hopefully will not come home with too many whatchamacallits out of desperation.
Great poem, it's how shopping sometimes really feels like. I'm lucky, I just shop for my wife and she shops for the rest
Hilarious. Have you heard of gift cards? Magic things they are. How do I attack my list? I have four people I buy a box of chocolates for and two grandchildren for whom I buy anything and everything. It will get harder as they get older I am sure and then.....the magic of gift cards.
Birthdays at this time of the year really compound the problem - now I feel relieved I have only two to contend with! Good luck . . .
"Wander, browse and hope" is an excellent description :)
If only we could shop for our own presents . . . I've put Daniel Quinn on my "anything by this author" wish list, by the way. I hope you get some shiny new books this season, Doug.
Somehow in the last eight years we have had the generation two steps below us expand to eight children (not all grandchildren, but all gift recipients), so my list has doubled. I would stop gift exchanges by adults if they were all on board with it but it's hard to give to some and not all. I like your way!
A lot of people are shopping online - some to the exclusion of any other way. You are keeping up with the times, Marie :)
Maybe we over think it??? I started earlier this year and it has helped me a lot, in terms of breadth of choice. And I had an epiphany a few years ago that I still chant to myself when I get desperate - there is no such thing as the perfect present . . . Good luck to us both, Arleen :)
You and my husband both! I'm sure I'd be much less stressed if I could do that :)
I used to use gift cards a lot (kids when they were teens, and my dad before his stroke), but circumstances change and here I am back to picking out gifts. The grandchildren are the easiest, aren't they? And like you, I'm pretty sure I'll revert to gift cards when they are older!
I am the very worst gift-giver. I give cash. No imagination at all.
I am almost done. Gift cards are great!
It takes guts to shop someone
You wait in a windswept doorway
Watching cars flash by
Trying to pluck up courage
Before you scale the steps
And slip inside.
“Can I help you?”
You say that you are there
To report crimes against humanity
And you name them all
Ali Salman Ahmed Salman
Aung San Suu Kyi
Donald John Trump
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
And you carry on
All shopped out
And the job is done.
You're a regular Dr. Seuss! I mean that in a good way, just so you know.
I think shopping is unbearable. Add to that the fact that I have no idea what anyone wants. I shop online and do my best to find generic gifts or go with gift cards.
But everybody loves cash :)
I used to use gift cards, too. Things changed for some people on my list and others are no longer here, so I can't do as many as I'd like. Kudos on being almost done, e!
Love your poem and can relate. I tend to shop online and with a list of ideas. It doesn't stop me from getting carried away, especially the week before Christmas when I'm in a frenzy and "What the heck" mode takes over. I did buy myself a present this weekend. I bought rather pricey mittens. Highly functional, utilitarian ones. I have a tendency to buy warm things for everyone-you know, hats, coats, sweaters, mittens. So I was doing that and it occurred to me that maybe I was projecting. Maybe I should just buy myself something warm. So I did, but it didn't stop me from buying all the other warm stuff for my men, either. I also do love books but I haven't hit the bookstore yet. That will be another challenge. And my fall back when clothes and books won't work has always been food and boos. Who doesn't like those?
Well done, YP! And you've taught me a new use of the verb "to shop" (I hope you don't mind that I double-checked with Google :O) ) Thanks for contributing, and that's a very good start to the list of far-worse-than-naughty people.
Ha ha! Thanks, Jono :) Dr. Seuss would've had a better ending, but I ran out of steam.
Both of those avenues are good ideas, Janie.
Well, I certainly like food but . . . boos??
I thought you must mean books, but you already used that word! Now I'm curious what you actually meant :)
HAHA! I had a good laugh with this one. I don't like shopping but I do like browsing the stores this time of year. Early in the morning. Before the crowds arrive. And two things drive me crazy when I'm in the shops: sore feet and overheating in my winter clothing. Drives. Me. Insane. I used to go mad trying to figure out what to buy all the time but last year the family and I put that problem to rest. We have decided that no one needs anything and that we'll do a secret Santa gift when we meet. Everyone brings one gift, no more than $25, we put names in a hat, you choose one and DONE. We tried it last Christmas, we all loved it and it is now going to be a new tradition. I do add a couple of extra things for my daughters but that's it. No more trying to figure out what to buy! I'm free... LOL
Sounds like a good solution! But then I'd be wondering what to get for that one present that would be gender-neutral, fragrance-free, calorie-free, and not destined for the donation box as soon as it was opened . . . what kinds of things do people give each other?
Hahaha..this is so much truth in your poem dear Jenny!
you described whole process amazingly and beautifully .
i can relate each bit you said and yes sometime i have to go back though i don't enjoy shopping much.
i can imagine the excitement of Christmas shopping all you have there now a days my friend .
i really pray and wish that may dear god keep you pain free and healthy to do all this with joy and freedom amen
My comment to your poem and my take on shopping seems to have got lost. If it hasn't appeared within the next day or so I'll put it on again.
Thank you, baili! I am trying to avoid the worst of the "fun" of shopping by going a bit earlier than I usually do :) I hope you are feeling well also!
I was wondering if something had happened, Joan - I did not receive a poem from you in the comments, so please do try again! There must have been a glitch in the system somewhere.
It was a bit of a long comment, but I'll shorten it to say that I thought your poem was quite true for many of us.
We only give presents to our daughter, her family and my husband's mother. Our daughter is usually quite good at telling us what to get for her, her partner and our grand-daughters, so we don't have to exercise our grey cells too much.
Anyway onto the poem with perhaps a different view on shopping.
Ideal is the life
Of all hibernating souls.
Going out and gathering
Foodstuff to fill their bowls.
Working hard all summer long
To forage and to reap.
Knowing they'll need to eat
When having their deep winter sleep.
If only it were that simple
With basic tastes and needs.
Being content to live on
Mixed berries, nuts and seeds.
How easy would it be
To forage for our food.
To eat as it is given,
Instead of boiled, roasted and stewed.
We humans have a palate
That requires much more taste,
With manufactured and refined products,
To weigh, chop and baste.
We've lost the art of foraging
From Mother Nature's plentiful crop.
Instead we spend many an hour,
Inside a supermarket shop.
May I say that I hate shopping for anything and I'm glad our daughter has much more of an idea of what to get.
Have a good week.
Now you've got me wondering just why it is that people in first world countries tend to have such an insatiable appetite for new and different. We wouldn't make very good bears or ants or deer, would we?
Well done, and thank you for persisting in order to make your contribution.
I appreciate your approval. You could have told me I'm a lazy bum who can't be bothered with shopping and doesn't care what people want.
But that would have been lying!!
I love your poem - I'm still laughing! I don't do much Christmas shopping these days, but your poem captured the experience perfectly. Hang in there... :-)
Glad to make you laugh :)
Well, it can be a little complicated but we try to choose things that most people would like. Tickets to the movies is always fun. And so is a gift card to a restaurant. Or a store. We also pick up things like hot chocolate and healthy snacks, etc. A gift basket with a nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar or spices or good quality chocolate...stuff like that. Basically, we try to stick with items that can be consumed quickly and happily instead of items that end up stored for as long as it's polite before they end up in a donation box.
Those are great ideas - thank you, Martha.
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