Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Twelve Contemporary (Shopping) Days of Christmas

Nov. 24 – Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving, you have time off from work and it's the official start of the Christmas season and of Christmas shopping. Stores are open 3-4 hours earlier and they close later. Holiday sales begin, it's the first time that some items will be available…. but definitely won't be among the crazies up at 4 AM to get to the top of the line to make some wild dash for the $99 flat-screen television or the Crazy Elmo toy. (Black Friday is the second single biggest shopping day for retailers and got its name because in the days of old so much shopping was done on this day that it would turn the tide for many stores and put them in the black, or, make them profitable.)

Dec. 2 – First Saturday in December – weekends are important because it means free time to shop. The early holiday and Christmas shopper should be more than halfway through shopping list. Average shoppers are just starting to browse.

Dec. 3 – First Sunday – weekend Christmas shopping can be done but stores close the usual earlier time on Sundays.

Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Day – it isn't recognized by most but is very important to war veterans. The President usually gives a speech to a Veterans group and lays a wreath in honor of those who died on Pearl Harbor Day and in World War II.

Dec. 9 – Second Saturday – only two full weeks to go before Christmas. Where did the time go and where did the year go? To your disguised annoyance, you are starting to hear the ubiquitous phrase, 'Finished all your Christmas shopping yet?' Christmas shopping has to pick up speed or panic will set in. You are running out of time to enjoy some quality Christmas entertainment with your family.

Dec. 10 – Second Sunday – go to church if you haven't been attending so that you won't look like a 'Christmas only attendee.' Need to squeeze in some shopping and must start sending out Christmas greeting cards this week.

Dec. 16 – Third Saturday, First Day of Hanukkah – it's unbelievable that there's only one full week to go before Christmas. Make supermarket shopping list for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner preparations.

Dec. 17 – Third Sunday – exactly one week before Christmas. Make sure Christmas toys and presents in hiding are still undiscovered. Make final plans for family dinner on Christmas Day.

Dec. 21 – oh dear me!!! Only three days to go before Christmas. Do last minute planning, get as many chores as possible out of the way, finish all Christmas and supermarket shopping. Assign final preparatory tasks to family members as necessary. Go over plans for Christmas Dinner.

Dec. 22 – First Day of Winter – My goodness!! You still have shopping to do!!? You dread going to the mall this weekend. Pray for a miracle to find one of those needle in a haystack salesperson who will hold hand and get you 95% through your Christmas shopping list.

Dec. 23 – Last Saturday before Christmas –  Now The Single Biggest Shopping Day of the Year!!!! The mall is absolutely crazy and there are no sales people anywhere.  It's a zoo everywhere – on the roads, in the supermarket, even at the gas station people are honking, hollering at the gas attendant to pump faster! But you know what … stopped at my favorite pastry store and was in and out in a nanosecond… there was no line!!

Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve – downtown is glorious, everything is so splendid and magical…. will go to Midnight Mass…. Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!!