Early Christmas shopping left me with questions, not answers


I am the kind of person who can only get something off their mind after it is crossed off the to-do list, so this year I was not planning on wasting any time Christmas shopping.

I always want what I get people to be at least somewhat sentimental, signifying that some thought was put into it, and therein lies my problem every year. It’s not the gift-giving that I dread; it’s the hunt.

Wednesday, the first day of break, I was going to get it all done. It was the only thing on my to-do list for the rest of the week so I wanted it crossed off before Thanksgiving. My friend from home wasn’t busy and offered to join, and I figured it’d at least be a little better than going alone, so I thought “Why not.” Just a couple of dudes walking around the mall sniffing candles and wandering aimlessly around Bath & Body Works. Nothing to see here, folks.

First of all, I’m not good at shopping for the women in my family. I don’t know why I don’t just do all my shopping online since a lot of the stores at the mall make me a little too uncomfortable and lightheaded to do any shopping whatsoever.

As usual around Christmas time, I left the mall with more questions than answers, like, “What is a bath bomb?” and “Why would anyone’s hands need to smell like a Gingerbread Latte, and who is smelling them anyways?”

Honestly, it’s pretty difficult to find something I think they’d like and also don’t already have, so I left with nothing for my mom or sister.

I also didn’t want to get my dad something sports-related since that’d just be too easy. It’s kind of like shopping for me; anything sports- or music-related and I’ll be happy with it.

There’s a sports store at the mall that’s always packed before Christmas, but I passed on it and thought, incorrectly, that I could be a little more creative this year. I want people to be somewhat surprised with their gift, not, “Wow, a LeSean McCoy T-shirt this year — that’s the entire Bills roster!”

So, a search for something in the realm between bath bombs and a spatula with the New York Yankees logo on it continued.

Since it’s the thought that counts, I figured that maybe a sincere handwritten sentiment complete with extravagant macaroni art on the cover would do the trick. A box of Barilla elbows and a package of construction paper would certainly fit my less-than-extravagant budget.

Not that my flair for creating portraits out of dry spaghetti is out of practice, but it’s probably about 15 years too late to be giving that kind of gift, so again, it was back to the drawing board.

Luckily, my friend was able to find something for himself. He found a T-shirt and socks for himself at 70 percent off. I left with nothing and we went to a hockey game later that night.

I guess I can relate to one reason why people get so stressed around the holidays. One of my friends said he was getting his parents a plant this year so that put into perspective for me how my gifts didn’t exactly need to be groundbreaking. It is the thought that counts, but I know my family would be happy with just about any gift, so I guess any stress over it is my own fault.


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