Pressure Busting Tip #19
For the longest time St. Patsy, Patti, and I would go out on the day after Thanksgiving and shop till we dropped, literally. We would start at some ungodly hour--like 7AM--and pile into Patti's Big Red Van, armed with our bigass coffees, and take off for a distant mall. I liked shopping a bit far away because the chance of me running into students was slimmer. We'd shop that mall down to its baseboards, then hit the TOYS-R-US, and end at the KMart in the strip next door for cheapo stuff, stocking stuffers, and our fave, gift wrap. By then it was at least six or seven PM, and we'd collapse at a restaurant, eat dinner, and drive home in a stupor with our swollen feet throbbing.
But we always, always had fun. Because something, deep down inside, is terribly, terribly wrong with my sister and I. I have no idea what it is, but when any of the Three Sisters combine, some sort of chemical imbalance occurs, and it is only exacerbated by the presence of The Mother. One year, St. Patsy had a severely pinched nerve and had to have a wheelchair handy. Patti and I took turns shoving her around, and she would hold the bags and ride in style. We were in one store, and I zoomed her into the glove section, at her request, and turned her around. "There!" I said sternly. "Now stay there and don't go wandering off!" Mom and I turned around in time to see a store clerk looking at me, shocked. I simply smiled and walked off toward another section, amused to see my mother playing along, lowering her head in sad obedience. Shortly after that, in another store, Patti, St. Patsy, and I were looking at some baby items. St. Patsy rose from her wheelchair carefully to look at a few things up a little higher. Then she moved a few steps to one side. Noting a few shoppers nearby, I jabbed Patti in the side. "Oh my God!" I gasped loudly. "It's a Christmas Miracle! Mom! Mom! You can walk!" Patti stood there in rapt amazement. The people who gathered around looked shocked and awed. Hands flew to faces and open mouths. Gazes widened. Murmurs ran through the crowd. My mother stood stock still; she had no idea what to do. It was perfect.
There is no way, no way ever that you can beat The St. Patsy Christmas Miracle as you go about your Christmas shopping this--or any!--year. But if you pick up Pressure Busting Tip #19, you can still reap its benefits. Inject some fun into your Christmas shopping. Take someone along who is a good time. Start noticing the really dumb Brookstone-type gifts, or the awful kiosk wares. Decide that you are going to get at least one goofy Dollar Store gift for each person. Watch people and what they buy. Surreptitiously sneak things into other people's carts at a Target or a Kohl's. I know it's sophomoric, but it's harmless, and you'll relax a little. It's easy for me to say "Do a little at a time" or "Stop shopping when you get tired or crabby"; I'm retired. I can shop at 10AM on a Tuesday if I want, and I often do. But I know that isn't possible for all of my Dearest Readers. I honestly wish I could shop for you. I do. Since that isn't an option, please try to lighten your step and your mood when you go out amongst the retail madness. Make your own Christmas Miracle, and have fun out there.