Christmas Shopping In January! You Bet!

by Kevin Burton

   Did a little Christmas shopping today me and the wife. We were in the moment.

   The moment had been delayed at least three weeks, but it was still a moment. Let’s call it a moment out of place.

   We didn’t get 100 percent of the things done that we intended this December. Anybody else have that happen?  One present we planned to get for each other didn’t happen by Santa’s deadline.

   We went shopping for small matching rugs. One to go in front of the fridge, one in front of the back door.  The old ones were frayed to that point where I would say they were still perfectly fine but we might need new ones in the next five years or so. Jeannette would say we needed them right away.

   We got them right away. Or three weeks from right away.

   It was important to get rugs that Ronnie, our newly-acquired six-year-old cat could love or grow to love. She spends more time camped out in front of the fridge than Jeannette and I combined.

   The rugs are totally girly, cool colors but with flowers all over them.  I don’t care. If Jeannette had gotten them on her own and put them in place, it would have taken me six months to notice the old ones were gone. 

   So I go in and ask her where the new rugs are. She says they are folded up on the piano bench, and that she wants to mop the kitchen floor before we put then down. I’m OK with the flowers. That cleaning bit is a little hard to take.  This is definitely a moment out of place.

   Like just now, I’m typing in my office and I hear Jeannette say “go, go, go, go, go, woo-hoo!” 

   Chiefs-broncos game is on TV. I rush in “Is it Kelce!?”

   “No McKinnon,” she said. 

   Then it hits me, we don’t have Kelce anymore. We don’t have Javonte Williams for Denver either. We don’t have a fantasy team.  That season ended last week.  We are just rooting without counting individual yardage.  It’s weird.

   Yahoo Fantasy is still showing the score of our last game, a playoff consolation-round win.  I go back in there just to see if there is anything to do. Players to evaluate, lineups to change. But there is nothing. 

   We caught the first part of the game on the radio, coming back home from the flowered rug store.  They mentioned Denver wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and Jeannette recognized the name as someone we had on our team for part of the year. That was cool. 

   But the whole week has been a moment out of place.  Early January can be like that. The holidays are over and everybody is back to real life. There is a kind of societal exhale. 

   I for one will be trying not to forget about Christmas, at least not right away. 

   Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but the Christmas giving part has grown less and less enjoyable.  Most of my extended family is older. We don’t really need anything.  We’re making poorly-educated guesses about what to buy and delivering gifts that aren’t needed. It’s doubly bad if you procrastinate as I do. It makes for lots of stress for nothing.

   Also, I’m thinking of one family member who has no intention of buying anybody anything who nevertheless will call, or have somebody else call, to find out when your gifts will be arriving. Anybody like that in your family?

   And what keeps that going year after year?  It’s the fact that come January (or Dec. 26 really) I am thinking thank God that is over and eliminating the whole process from my mind.

   Until December rolls around the following year.

   I am thinking of making experiences a part of Christmas sharing from now on. Maybe there is some kind of outing, if they are safe. Maybe a meal with vaccinated relatives.  Something needs to change.

   Today’s Christmas shopping was probably the most fun shopping I had all year. It was a moment out of place, but it made us a memory.

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