Sunday, December 1, 2013

Shopping Wears Me Out

Efficiency is intelligent laziness.  
David Dunham

I should be writing my Christmas letter. I didn't get one out last year. Or cards. Can't seem to get my fingers to type beyond, "Merry Christmas" though. I'm tired. I've been shopping all day.

Dear friends are laughing now. They know I don't go shopping all day. They know I'm good for two hours at most and then I've either found a bar or escaped home. But, no, to you naysayers. I shopped for a good seven hours today. All that time someone else might spend fighting crowds and looking for parking and elbowing one's way through the check out line. Hmmmph! Nuts to that. I'm almost done.

I shop from my chair. Catalogs galore. A book bag full of them. Great deals online. Added bonus -  much fun to open my front door and there everything is. Right on my front porch. Don't even have to haul it from the car.

Lazy? Maybe.
Exactly what everyone had on their lists? Maybe. Maybe not.
Guaranteed to be fun opening it? You bet. 

Why? The hundreds of catalogs delivered to my house offer a plethora of items for consideration. I get catalogs for everything from underwear to dog food. I get weird T-shirt catalogs. Weird yard art catalogs. Cooking utensils and electronic foot massage catalogs. Art museum catalogs. Wine, cheese and pear catalogs. College flag catalogs. Flower and seed catalogs. Give a herd of sheep or a gaggle of geese catalogs.

Every day beginning in September my husband arrives from the mailbox and a loud bang hits the kitchen table. "Here's today's load," he says.

If I didn't recycle, I'd feel guilty. It isn't all my fault for once you order something from a catalog, Those That Hold Your Address pass it on to everyone else. Pretty soon everybody and their brother who sells something sends you a catalog. Or, if your mother passes on and her mail comes to your house, Those That Held Her Address now switch to yours. As well as all those charities she contributed to for the past 85 years.

My mailman assures me he doesn't hate me. I normally give him a homemade sweet bread for Christmas. I'm thinking this year maybe he needs something a little extra. Any ideas? After all, my mailbox is only so big so there are times, often, when he leaves his jeep and comes up to the door to hand me my newest load. Or leaves it discreetly on my porch swing.

So, back to where I was. Oh, yes. Shopping. I'm in pretty good shape. Just need to order a few fruit and wine or coffee or English muffin or cookie baskets to out of town family and I'm good. Leaves me open to begin the quest of writing that Christmas letter, addressing the cards, digging out the advent wreath, making the bread, meatballs and cookies. Oh, yeah - decorating the house. Planting the hyacinth bulbs curing in my refrigerator. Putting up the tree. Wrapping those gifts after they arrive at my door. Planning the meals. Cleaning the house for out of town company. Remembering what this season is supposed to be about.

Those of you who do it know what I'm talking about. Merry Christmas to you.

My mind is now fully overwhelmed. Thinking I'd better go get a glass of wine.  And dream about...

... December 26.


  1. Too cute. Remember to keep that joyful Christmas spirit now, Julie. You know, like you have all year round? Only more? As for the mailman, cash is king. I always stick some cash in a Christmas card and put my mail lady's name on it. After several years she's learned to look for it. And she always leaves me a jar of homemade jam. Very sweet. You know, Christmas joy.
    Yes, I did my fair share of online shopping this weekend. And tomorrow is Cyber Monday! More shopping!

  2. Funny write! shopping from a cozy armchair--if you have to shop--sounds perfect...a pleasurable way to spend the day. Personally, I never shop for Christmas presents...except for Mom who lives in a nursing home and looks forward to mail every day. She's 93 and spoiled rotten. My siblings and I agreed to cut the Christmas gifting game, we have enough on our plates. As for my immediate family, well, they get cash in money cards...for spending when they come to Florida from the frozen north during midwinter break...they LOVE and appreciate it! Cash in a card for the mailman, food gifts for neighbors. Works for me...

  3. I tend to do little shopping since I come home with more for me. I like to get out and mail my checks.LOL

  4. You are my people--I do most of my shopping from home, too. I hate the crowds and can always find what I specifically want to buy people online.

  5. Me, too! I start ordering things in October or so...some for gifts, some for me. By a week or two before Christmas I decide I need a hit of store shopping, so we go to a small mall on a midweek afternoon and pick up calendars, cards for immediate family, and a couple bags of candied almonds. Happy days!

  6. This is just an altogether fun post! You have such a beautiful corner there from which to do your shopping, and if you want to take a coffee break you don't even have to leave a tip. I agree with you, online shopping is the way to go.
    The family members I still exchange gifts with agreed with me eight years ago to buy gifts in one anothers' names from those catalogs that provide food, shelter, water, etc. to those in need. I cannot believe the stress this has relieved. :)

  7. Online shopping is the best (and this, from someone who actually likes "real-life" shopping). We're trying out Amazon Prime, with its free shipping, this year, and so I foresee a bunch of books for all my loved ones.

    Enjoy that wine, honey.

    Completely unrelatedly, I wanted to let you know that I have a password-protected blog, recently started, where I am posting about my teaching life and students. If that's of interest to you, here's link to the most-recent post:

    Password is: topics

  8. We are yet to start our purchase for Christmas...

  9. I love the picture at the end! This is how I do most of my shopping now, too. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one whose house is overtaken with catalogs. I spend endless hours flipping through them and being inspired or just laughing at the absurdity of what's being offered. Thanks for starting my weekend (one that will be spent baking and wrapping) with a chuckle. Happy holidays to you.

  10. not lazy, smart! I shop throughout the year so I can not stress out at Christmas.

  11. Love it! I am impressed that you get it done on time. I always order off Amazon and then think of other items to order at the very last minute! Shipping costs annoy me. The chair and ottoman look like heaven.

  12. Smart Girl! It took me til this year to jump on the bandwagon. Now, I'm a (sort of) smart girl too. Not totally, because at the present, I'm still wrapping gifts. :)

    Merry Christmas!

    Fun post! :)


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