I am what most would call punctual. An early bird by no means, but certainly never late. And in my deadline-driven life, I'm always more effective when an impending due date is closing in, rather than far off in the distance. I live by the clock and calendar in my capacity as a writer/editor, and can't afford to miss a beat when it comes to fulfilling my little guy's daily demands. In short, (caution: literary reference ahead), a particular line of poetry rings very true in my daily life:
"While at my back I always hear, Time's winged chariot, hurrying near..."
Perhaps that why I'm rebelling against this year's sense of urgency in regards to Christmas shopping season. I hit a toy store this past weekend to pick up some last minute Halloween goodies and I could barely navigate my shopping cart without bumping into some stressed-out parent with a shopping list and a cell phone, trying to find out if little Molly would rather have Bella Dancerella or Polly Pockets under the tree. And although it's against my policy to become one of those parents, I actually thought it would be a good idea to pick up a Christmas outfit for my son so I can start trying to snap the perfect holiday card photo. Guess what? All the nice outfits are SOLD OUT... IN OCTOBER! Are we as a consumer society losing our collective minds?
As much as I've tried to resist the Great Christmas Push of 2006, I can't help but feeling like I've already blew my shot at this year's hottest toys, missed the best sales, and now, as punishment, have to stand in out-the-door lines with the rest of the "last-minute shoppers." Only 54 more shopping days 'til Christmas... It might as well be midnight on Christmas Eve, and the last store in town is about to close.
It used to be so nice to space out my shopping during the month of December -- ya know, after Thanksgiving -- enjoy the holiday rush, and find the perfect gift for a loved one. (That was also back when every gift wasn't mandated to me from a wishlist, but I'll save that for another vent session.) Even if I was still shopping the weekend before the holiday, I was always completely done and wrapped with a day or two to spare. But in 2006, I've already missed the boat. My son may have to wear pastel spring colors in his holiday photo, and my gift recipients will have to settle for gift cards or cheesy I.O.U. printouts of items that are on backorder.
Speaking of which, I've gotta go. If I hurry, I can get in my pre-order for the 2007 Tickle Me Elmo Extreme Anniversary Edition Volume II.