A Christmas (Shopping) Story

Oh the joys of the season. Crowded stores playing crappy, overdone Christmas music. Shopping elbow to elbow with strangers while you sweat like a beast in your winter jacket. Getting to the aisle that houses the item you wanted and finding that they’re all sold out. You peruse the picked over shelves until your eyes glaze over and you go into a coma. Can you tell I hate Christmas shopping?

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My worst nightmare!

Retail therapy doesn’t usually feel therapeutic when I attempt it during the holidays. But today. Ah, my friends. Today I got the all time shopper’s high.

I want to get my kids some sort of tablet this Christmas and have been reading all the website reviews of the different tablets that are good for kids and yada, yada, yada. I had it narrowed down to either the Leapfrog Leap Pad 2, or a Kindle Fire. Since I’ve got a budget for Christmas shopping, either of these gifts would put me at the top of the budget. And just as I was about to buy them each a Kindle, I see that Walmart (I know, I know, they’re horrible and I shouldn’t give them business) is having a Pre-Black Friday sale and that the Leap Pad 2 is 50% off the normal price. So, this Christmas shopping hater, this avoid-crowded-places-at-all-costs introvert, deigned to attend a holiday sale event. The sale started at 8 a.m. Friday morning. I dropped Caylie off at school and walked into Walmart at 8:07 a.m. And they were sold out of the Lap Pad 2s. A staff member tells me that they’re offering the same price online. I drive home, take my wallet into the office and log onto the website. Just as I’m clicking the “check-out” button, I get a message telling me that the item I want is currently out of stock. It wasn’t even 9 a.m.

Now I guess I’m still a Christmas-shopping-for-kids newbie because this is the first time I have wanted to get them a gift that was, apparently, the hottest gift of the season. I’ve been having flashbacks to the 80s when all I wanted for Christmas was a Cabbage Patch doll. People were being trampled in the stores trying to buy them and much to my self-centered 9 year-old’s dismay, I didn’t get a Cabbage Patch that year. My parents just couldn’t get one.

I suppose at this point I could just go buy the Kindles that I was originally intending to get. But the Kindles and the 2 sets of headphones I purchased so I don’t have to listen to video game music would be the only things I could get them for Christmas. The 50% off sale would let me get 2 for the price of one and give me almost $100 left over to get more presents. My female shopper’s logic leaves only one conclusion: I spend the next few days going to the 2 local stores in my area to see if any more Lead Pads have come in. I check the website every few hours to see if they are back in stock. I’m out of luck.

And then, cue the music, I force my husband to take me to Walmart this morning and lo and behold… there is one lone pink Leap Pad 2 on the shelf and I snatched it up just as another mother turned the corner with her shopping cart! Ha! Take that bitch! I got the last one! I feel like dancing. My husband witnesses first hand the shopper’s high he’s heard so much about. I’ve been in a good mood all day! I picked up a green one for Chase on Amazon.com where they were selling for $20 more than the Walmart sale price. So I still saved some money. And if I went over the budget just a teensy bit, Mike will just have to bite the bullet.

I may hate Christmas shopping, but I love watching my kids when they open those presents on Christmas morning.

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3 thoughts on “A Christmas (Shopping) Story

  1. While the cabbage patch dolls were difficult, Strawberry Shortcake dolls (someone was actually trampled to death in Harrisburg when a store with these in stock opened for business one morning) and “The Legend of Zelda” were worse. I checked everywhere between Scranton and Fall River to find Zelda. After that, I finally realized that the gifts were not as important as the time together.

  2. Yeah dude, totally. Fuck that noise. Let’s just say that there are few things that excite me about “the holidays” and Xmas music, crowds, and marketing/advertising conglomerate bastards catering to consumerism-America are not on that list. Sorry, that may have been a bit too much of what you didn’t know about me to let out of the bag all at once. Oops. Great post.

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