How much for the Cuisinart?
Saturday, December 22, 2012 8:07 PM
There's still a little lime left. Christmas arrives Tuesday, meaning you have the rest of today and Monday to finish up your Christmas shopping.
Sure, there are lots of "responsible" people out there who long ago wrapped up their holiday list, and the gifts they have for friends and family are probably wrapped and under the tree, ready to be delivered Tuesday.
And then there's everybody else.
The last-minute shoppers. The procrastinators. The ones who will race to the mall on Christmas Eve. The ones who will clog the highways and desperately scour the store shelves. The Scott J. Bryan's of the world.
(Scott, for the first time since I have known him, actually did his shopping a full week before Christmas this year. I think it's because his longtime girlfriend, Felicia, recently moved to Greenwood. She's domesticated him. Like a kitty cat, with less hair and more cigarettes.)
Perhaps I'm painting with a broad brush here (not that I'd ever do such a thing), but it seems like men are the worst when it comes to last-minute shopping. Long after a wife has taken care of all the people on her list, the husband is left scrambling, dashing from store to store at the 11th hour, digging through discount CD bins and asking himself questions like "Hmmm, I wonder if Aunt Gertrude would like Limp Bizkit's Greatest Hits?"
Men who are going to be out fighting the crowds today or on Christmas Eve might need a bit of a guide. Don't worry, your humble senior staff writer is here to help with a few tips.
Don't shop at Victoria's Secret - I know it's tempting, guys. You want to get a gift for your wife or girlfriend that's actually a visual gift for you. A gift you can both enjoy.
Don't go in there. Trust me.
There are certain inalienable certainties in life. You will have to pay your taxes every year. Every day will bring life and death, somewhere in the world. The Atlanta Braves will fall in the playoffs. And a man will feel like a pervert if he shops for his wife at a Victoria's Secret lingerie store.
You can try to deny it, but it's true. It's just an uncomfortable situation.
I was in Columbia late last week, doing a little Christmas shopping at Columbiana Mall. In a moment of foolishness, I wandered in to Victoria's Secret in hopes of finding something for my wife.
I swear they put me on the sex registry and handed me the keys to a 1985 Chevy custom van as soon as I walked through the door.
A nice young woman asked if I needed any help. I mumbled I was "just browsing," realized how creepy that sounded, blacked out for about 30 seconds, then bolted out of there and headed to the food court to get a free sample of teriyaki chicken from the Japanese place.
Suffice it to say, my wife won't be getting anything from Victoria's Secret for Christmas. But she will be getting a very sexy Cuisinart coffee maker.
If a store is offering an assembled product, go for it - Yes, even if it costs a little more.
Trust me, you don't want to be up until all hours of the night on Christmas Eve assembling your kid's dollhouse/jungle gym/treehouse/fully-functional life-size Apache helicopter. Nothing will make you go crazy at midnight on Christmas eve like trying to interpret a set of instructions written by a 9-year-old boy in China.
All toy assembly instructions are the same. They say things like "Put Item E into Slot 12."
Well, which one is Item E? What the hell is Slot 12? Who am I? Where am I? Wait, are these the French instructions?
And there WILL be screws left over at the end. Brackets, too.
I don't care if Bob Vila himself is putting that dollhouse together. I don't care if the 9-year-old boy in China who wrote the directions is putting it together. There will be screws left over.
So, if the store is offering a swing set or dollhouse that is already assembled, pony up for it. Otherwise you might end up losing your cool when trying to assemble it and end up having to give your kid the Cuisinart that was meant for your wife.
Remember the true reason - OK, y'all know I like to have fun with the column. I've just referenced chain-smoking editors, lingerie, 1985 Chevy custom vans, teriyaki chicken, Cuisinarts, 9-year-old sweatshop workers and, yes, Bob Vila.
But let's get a little more serious.
I know everybody gets excited and worked up about Christmas gifts and all the hustle and bustle surrounding the holiday. And that's OK, because that's part of what makes the holiday great.
But, as Christmas day grows near, we should take time to truly appreciate the meaning of Christmas and reflect on why we celebrate the season.
As is tradition, I'll close my Christmas column with a Biblical passage known by many. Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.
From Luke Chapter 2, Verses 8-14 (King James version):
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.