Stocking Stuffers Redux
Posted by wendiwendy
We decided to do all our shopping in one fell swoop today because we have a … wait for it … WINTER STORM WATCH in effect tomorrow. !!! I opened the weather website today to check the forecast, saw the advisory posted in red at the top of the page, and let out a little shriek of delight. Seriously, we have had NO SNOW here in Illinois so far. Usually we have snow and then it warms up and melts before Christmas, but it’s enough to make it feel like December. This year, nothing. At all. In fact, a lot of days I don’t even wear a coat…I just throw on my NIU sweatshirt and that’s warm enough.
So anyway, I love me some snow around the holidays but I’m not a complete freak so no, I don’t like to drive in it. Dave is more laid back than I am about driving in snow, but I had a traumatic experience when the kids were younger (before I met him) that still haunts me.* Therefore, if we have a storm predicted I usually like to get any running around done ahead of time if I possibly can.
We got stocking stuffers for the cats. Yes, they have stockings – I hang them from the garland that’s wrapped around the staircase banister (our stockings are downstairs by the fireplace). Nothing too crazy there – just little cans of Fancy Feast (and we’ll add some catnip to the toys they already have…the girls love some ‘nip!)
Then we headed out to get stocking stuffers for our people. I just told Dave to pick some stuff he wanted because GAH, I knew I would not get back out to the store by myself to shop for him. So he picked two tiny, tiny things. Then he said, with a bit of a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look, “Wait…are you getting YOUR stuff too? Or should I have done that?” Usually every year I buy candy in bulk and just kind of toss pieces in everyone’s stocking, my own included. But Dave does always manage to surprise me with something unexpected in my stocking. This year I took the pressure off him and told him I’d just pick out some stuff for myself too. (Example: We went to the bank and they were giving away free mini calendars. He grabbed one and told me it would be perfect for my desk…and I told him to hold onto it and put it in my stocking.)
Usually in the checkout line I kind of look at what we’re buying and feel a little righteous, because I’m much more of a “make everything from scratch, shop the perimeter of the store” kind of gal. Today, all we really got was stocking stuffers and some cheddar cheese and I wasn’t even thinking about it…until the (young guy) cashier commented, as he swiped items through, “You guys really like your sweets, huh?”
It took a minute to sink in, with all the background noise in the store, and then I was horrified and amused all at once. I laughed and explained that this was for stocking stuffers and, “We aren’t going to eat all this ourselves!” I’m sure he was thinking, “Yea, right.” I still laugh a little every time I think about it, and then I also get a little offended. I mean, it’s kind of weird to have a cashier comment on your purchases. It’s like the time my (male) gynecologist gave me a lecture on using shaving cream when I shave, instead of just soap. I mean, you don’t expect them to notice these things, right?!
* On Christmas Eve 1996 or 1997, one of the kids was sick enough that I took them to the doctor to get checked out. (I think it was Paige.) On the way there, it started to snow. By the time we got out of the doctor’s office, it was a full-blown snowstorm and I was driving my rear wheel drive Cougar. We were almost home when I hit a red light on an uphill slope. When the light turned green, the car would not go. I tried and tried, but it would just not move forward. It would slide a little bit sideways and that was it. I was getting hysterical, no AAA service to call or anything (no cell phone either), cars behind me were honking, and there was nothing I could do. It wasn’t like I could get out of the car and just push it.
Finally I just got out of the damn car, carrying feverish Paige and holding Eric’s hand (the kids would have been around 2 and 4, or 3 and 7, at the time) and we walked home in the snow, leaving the stupid car in the road. I called my dad to come help me, and bless his heart, he got there and got the car going before the police could get involved. (They did call and testily ask what was up with the car being left in the road; I explained as calmly as I could [I was fairly hysterical] and told them I had someone coming to help move it.) Needless to say, not an experience I would ever want to relive, and not the best Christmas Eve I ever had.