You know, I’m starting to suspect that there might, just MIGHT be a few problems with our economy…  We went Christmas shopping today.  We went to a store that all shoppers dread in December.  Yes, we braved Toys-R-Us.  Usually by 10 days before Christmas this store has been picked clean.  The lines are two hours long.  Nothing is where it’s supposed to be because shoppers pick things up, decide against them, and leave them in another department.  There’s no parking, tempers are short and the smell of desperation is in the air.  Yet today was quite pleasant. 

Parking lot only half full.  Plenty of open checkers (we waited in line in the electronics department only about 5 minutes!)  The shelves were organized and there was still plenty to choose from.  The checker actually, (wait for it…) JOKED with us and told us to have a pleasant day.  …What is this, March?! 

We wandered out the door, a bit shellshocked, and decided (in our delerium) to brave Walmart.

The bad news is that we found out where all the shoppers went.  The worst news is that it appears that Walmart is as hard to kill as roaches.  And not half as cute.   The most horrible thing in the world is a toy store or Walmart on Christmas Eve.  I know this, and yet every year I somehow find myself in one or the other on the 24th.  I’m a masochist, I guess.

We finished almost all of our shopping (my husband thinks we are done, but he is mistaken) and had a pretty good day.  I usually hate shopping with my husband because he shops with a mission statement.  We storm in (lists blazing),  shop aggressively for specific gifts, and bail as quickly as possible.  This is not fun for me.  I like to window shop.  I like to meander and see where the day takes us.  I like to stop and have lunch.  This approach makes my husband break out in hives.  Today, because it went better than we expected at the toystore, hubby dearest actually did chill out ever so slightly with no hives to show for it.  A good day all around! 

This is why there are only 2 cartoons rather than three today.  No time to scan the third one.  Tomorrow, I have to get packages in the mail and wrap wrap wrap while my kids are at school.  One year, just ONCE mind you, I waited until the 24th to wrap gifts for 5 children.  It took half the night.  In our house I dedide who is getting what.  I buy most of the gifts.  I wrap 99% of them.  I put the gifts under the tree after the kids are in bed.  I guess our division of Christmas labor is horribly unfair.  If I died, I fear my poor children would wake up Christmas morning with no gifts under the tree because my husband thinks they get there by the gift fairy or something.  Then he’d bring them over and show them the shopping bags with the unwrapped stuff in them  that mommy bought before she died, and let them rummage through them….  How festive.

On that morbid thought I will close.  Bah Humbug.