I’m afraid the main reason for the season around the end of December is, for many people, shopping. We’re all familiar with people being stomped to death fighting over bargains, shoppers shattering glass doors of Big Box stores to beat each other to sale items, lunatics camping out for days in line in order to seize good deals ahead of anyone else. These behaviors call for a Three Stooges group slap to bring them back to their senses.
I do not engage in such activities. I DO shop, and I’m good at it. For example, when my niece was getting married a while back, down in Florida, it was decided I needed to buy a suit. I used to have a couple-three suits. Back in high school, where I played basketball (and the older I get the better I was), I had two 3-piece suits available for road trips, where we had a suit-and-tie dress code. But I didn’t shop for them. My mother did. And they fit.
So, with a wedding looming and pressure to suit up, I went shopping. By myself. I forget the name of the store, but it was a big store, a chain, and it had men’s clothing. Seven minutes after entering the store I was leaving with my suit. And it fit. I had gone directly to the “Men’s Clothing” department, found a conservative dark gray suit with light, narrow pinstripes, and bought it. On sale, a detail I didn’t know until I paid the cashier. Truth is, it would have been a “5-Minute Suit” except that I tried on the jacket still wearing my sweatshirt, which made it a little snug. But an astute sales lady suggested I try the jacket on without the sweatshirt. Perfect. And I was on my way. Today, the “7-Minute Suit” is a quirky part of family lore.
At Christmas time, I enjoy giving gifts. But my long-suffering wife buys the gifts for our daughters, so that frees me up to shop for her. Sometimes our younger daughter feeds me info-tips on what my bride might like, data acquired over the previous year while they were hanging out. This year, a few days before Christmas, I went shopping downtown (I hate malls). It took forever to purchase my beloved’s gifts. Fifteen minutes. One store. So, what did I buy her? Well, three gifts, actually – an article of clothing, a scarf accessory, and earrings – all coordinated aesthetically into one stylish fashion statement. She was genuinely pleased.
And the article of clothing fit. Some of us have the gift, others not so much.