04:55:28 am on
Wednesday 19 Jun 2024

Hiding Presents
Jennifer Flaten

We survived the first phase of the holiday season. Yes, I was worried, if you lived in this house you‘d be worried, too, but somehow, with much luck and, perhaps, a cocktail or two, we managed to get through the holiday, the Thanksgiving, meal. You will be happy to know we did it without food poisoning, a burned turkey or a food fight. For the record, the refs ruled my bouncing an olive off my mother’s head as purely accidental.

With Thanksgiving over, I can breathe a sigh of relief, which turns into a gasp of pure panic as I realize that Christmas is less than 30 days away. As the designated hunter and gather, I am in charge of all shopping, including holiday gifts. Yes, I am well aware of the irony, I am a procrastinator and I am in charge of buying the holiday gifts. 

I know it will come as no surprise that I'm a procrastinator. I would much rather be at home drinking hot cocoa and watching “Scrooged,” for the hundredth time, than shopping at the mall. Even with this attitude, I managed to get the presents bought well ahead of the 25th deadline last year. Before you even ask, it was 11:59pm on the 24th and it still counts.

Again, this will come as no surprise, but I am not one of those get up early or, as the case this year, stay up late, wait in line for ten days for the after Thanksgiving “deals” shopping maniacs. Make no mistake they are maniacs. One woman used Pepper spray on the “competition” at a store. Who packs Pepper spray at the mall? Too bad my pepper spray is on back order, although, I do have that Taser. I'm just kidding, maybe.

In fact, I am not a big shopper, overall, don’t get me wrong my name isn’t Ebenezer, it is more my lack of funds then a lack of desire to give gifts. I like giving gifts, what I don’t like is paying for them. What I need is a team of Elves; this Santa thing is not quite as fun without them. I’d even let them unionize; don’t tell the Governor.

The kids, of course, know exactly what they want and aren‘t afraid to demand it. For the past month that is all they have talked about. If they put as much effort into their homework as they do their Christmas lists guaranteed full scholarships to Yale would be theirs.

I have to put a deadline on their lists or they would never finish them, there is always one thing they‘d like to add. As of today, final drafts are in and there are no more revisions. I give the kids an A+ for effort; their lists are color coded, indexed and cross-referenced with helpful illustrations.

After I do go shopping and I will, after this program, there is the problem of concealing the presents until Christmas.  The kids have a spider sense when it comes to presents. Short of burying them in a lead lined coffin in the back yard, I have a hard time keeping the toys undiscovered.

I’m going to use layaway just so the toys aren’t anywhere the kids can find them.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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