Holiday Gift Shopping for Dummies

Even though I graduated college with honors, I have to admit, I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. If I were, I certainly would have realized that no matter what I did, no matter when I went, there was no way, no how, that I was going to avoid the crowds shopping for holiday gifts.

Yes, in my delusional little shopping world, I actually thought I could just stroll into the toy store three weeks before the holidays, swoop up everything on my list, and stroll back out unscathed.

Like I said; not too bright.

So there I was yesterday, at the toy store with my family’s wish lists. I suppose I should have known I was headed for trouble when I had my first fight of the day with another shopper. It wasn’t over a toy. It was over the last shopping cart.

Nevertheless, I was still optimistic. So I grabbed a little hand-basket and followed the hordes inside.

I had a formidable task ahead of me: There were eight gifts to buy for each of my two kids, as well as toys for my five nieces and nephews, two young cousins, and other assorted non-family juveniles who expected presents. But I was confident. I had a list. I knew what I wanted to get. How hard could it be, really?

I decided to start with the easy stuff and headed straight for the Play-doh. But under the sign that said Play-Doh, there were shelves of Power Rangers. Where the Power Rangers were supposed to be, they had Pokemon. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. I figured the store clerk who set up the shelves was either very confused or had a mean streak.

“Excuse me,” I asked a harried looking woman in a red apron wearing a tag that said, Can I help you? “Can you help me?”

“One minute,” she responded. “I’ll be right back.”

Ten minutes later, like an idiot I was still waiting.

I finally gave up and joined the other zombie parents looking dazed and confused, wandering around, looking at signs and shaking their heads. I realized, to survive this ordeal, we were going to need to work together. Glancing around, I saw a cart go by with Play-doh and grabbed the owner of the cart.

“Can you tell me where the Play-doh is?” I begged her.

“Yes. But do you know where the Power Rangers are?” she pleaded. We exchanged information and set off down separate aisles.

Now I had a system. An hour later, I was down to my last toy, minus the six toys on the list that we’re out of stock, of course.

“Pardon me,” I said to a mother pushing a cart filled with Spider-Man toys, Transformers and other boy toys. “Do you know where I can find a Thing?”

“What thing?” she asked.

“The Thing. It’s called The Thing,” I responded, waving my arms around like a lunatic.

“What’s called The Thing?” she asked exasperatedly.

“The toy is The Thing,’” I told her. It dawned on me that I had become part of a real life Abbot and Costello routine.
I started over. “The Thing is one of the Fantastic Four Characters,” I explained. I’m looking for a Thing action figure.”

I saw the light go on in her head and she pointed to her left.

Finally, Thing in hand, I made it to the checkout counter. As I waited, I noticed a woman walk in, grab a basket and get on line behind me.

“Aren’t you shopping?” I asked her incredulously.

“I’m done,” she responded.

“You bought invisible toys?”

She grinned and reached into her basket to display a handful of plastic.

“Gift cards.”

Note: Tracy’s book, “Rebel without a Minivan,” makes a great holiday gift and you can order i! online. No stores… No lines! To get yours, CLICK HERE!

©2011, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
To become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook, CLICK HERE
To follow me on Twitter, CLICK HERE



Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to “Holiday Gift Shopping for Dummies

  1. I’m all about online…and free shipping!
    Oh, and honors from PSU? how did I miss that? 😉

  2. aig63

    IMHO, a combo online/in-store strategy is a good one. Am NOT looking foward to the rage that will erupt in me just looking for a parking space this weekend but also balk at “pls wait 3-4 weeks for delivery”! on some sites. As for the lady behind you in line? I’m Aunty Gifcard for birthdays and anti-giftcard for the holidays…probably why I’m about to go crazy!
    Great post!

    • Now that my kids are teenagers, all they seem to want is either gift cards or money, anyway. I just have to get the rest of the extended family on board or soon I am going to be the Aunt who mails fruitcake!