Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 1, 2013

12/01/2013 — Lee Ward: Shop until you drop isn't for everyone

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — I’ve never started so early and ended up so behind on Christmas shopping.

Yeah, I hear all you procrastinators hissing because I’m complaining about being behind and it’s the second day of December.

Admit it: You know my way is the right way, your way is the wrong way and you’re just trying to direct negative attention toward me and, simultaneously, away from yourselves.

That’s fine. It’s the holidays and I’m in a charitable mood, so let late shoppers take out their venom on me.

I start shopping in June or July. Whenever I see something that suits someone I know I’ll be buying for, I purchase it.

Notice I didn’t say I start shopping when the mood strikes me; if I did, I might never shop. I’m motivated by practicality.

So my first purchase was made in June or July, I don’t rightly know. I stick my “early gifts” into a laundry basket and put it on a shelf in my extra room and forget about it.

Literally, I forget what I bought. So when it gets down to what I consider the wire, I take out the laundry basket and look through it, trying to recall what I bought for whom, making a list of what I still need to buy.

I like to have this chore over with by Thanksgiving, but this year, that did not happen, so I will be forced to get out with all the bargain hunters and root around for the appropriate gifts.

It won’t be the first time I did my Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving.

Before I was in school, my favorite aunt and uncle and I would ride the train to Huntington on a Friday afternoon in December and spend the night in the Frederick Hotel, the one with the huge Christmas tree in the lobby.

My aunt and I would spend Saturday shopping for Christmas, my uncle dutifully following, carrying shopping bags and driving us from one store.

It seems people weren’t so grabby-grabby about shopping then. Nobody knocked anyonee out of the way for a deal. It wasn’t even so crowded in the stores.

Christmas shopping was a much nicer experience when everything and everybody was civilized. You didn’t have to face holiday advertisements and items in the stores and on television until after Thanksgiving and maybe you even had time to get into the holiday spirit before you did  your shopping.

Still, I vow to never wait this long again. I can’t take today’s shopping season.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.