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Shopping on Christmas Eve?

ChristmasClarksville, TN – I collapsed on the couch and announced that I was exhausted from shopping for Christmas when I returned home late one afternoon.

My dear husband responded, “Your problem is that you didn’t wait until Christmas Eve to shop.”

His comment boggled my imagination. I could just see what kind of Christmas we’d have if I waited until Christmas Eve to begin.

Shopping on Christmas Eve.
Shopping on Christmas Eve.

First, no food would be prepared. If I didn’t shop before that day, I’d have no food in the house to cook for any festivities. I’m not the wonderful homemaker who bakes dozens of cookies, prepares numerous cakes and pies, and roasts four or five kinds of poultry and beef for Christmas Day, but we do have to have something respectable for that day.

I might cook a turkey, four or five vegetables, make fruit salad, bake rolls and have two or three desserts available. That does take a bit of time. If I were out shopping for everyone on the list, I would have to resort to having the grocery store cook the meal and then to warming it up before lunchtime. You know, that doesn’t sound like too bad a plan.

Then were I foolish enough to wait until the last minute to buy for everyone, what about the boxes I have to mail to some of our family? Those would all arrive some time around New Year’s or the middle of January, I suspect! I don’t think that would go over very well.

Ah, and then there are the Christmas decorations. If they didn’t go up until Christmas Eve, we wouldn’t get to enjoy them at all until after the holiday—and wouldn’t that be somewhat of a letdown? I’m just not sure that the Christmas tree isn’t rather sad when all the presents have been opened. Anyway, if I were shopping all of Christmas Eve, I wouldn’t have time to put up the tree at all!

Too frightening to contemplate is the possibility of what might be left in the stores to buy if I waited until Christmas Eve! I know that my husband always has his tradition of buying for me that day—and he buys lovely clothes for me every year—but I don’t think I could risk waiting to see what would be left.

I do recall one Christmas when my dad made the poor decision to wait and shop for my mother on Christmas Eve. The sweater and slacks that didn’t match and the set of black nightclothes he produced created an incident he never forgot. Let’s put it this way: he remembered forever that waiting until the last minute was not one of his choices.

I suppose if I did wait until Christmas Eve to shop that I could just purchase gift cards for everyone. It could save so much time trying to pick out something that everyone wants. Of course, I tend to buy something I think they’d like and give them a gift card too.

Maybe I’ll think this plan over, but I doubt seriously I could wait until Christmas Eve to shop. Just think of all the fun I’d miss racing from store to store and keeping lists and bagging all the gifts and hiding them away until the proper moment.

I actually like to shop.

Sue Freeman Culverhouse
Sue Freeman Culverhousehttp://culverhouseart.com/
Author of Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013) Sue Freeman Culverhouse has been a freelance writer for the past 36 years. Beginning in 1976, she published magazines articles in Americana, Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Flower and Garden, The Albemarle Magazine, and many others. Sue is the winner of two Virginia Press Awards in writing. She moved to Springfield, Tennessee in 2003 with her sculptor husband, Bill a retired attorney. Sue has one daughter,  Susan Leigh Miller who teaches poetry and creative writing at Rutgers University. Sue teaches music and writing at Watauga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee to approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also publishes a literary magazine each year; all work in the magazine is written and illustrated by the students. Sue writes "Uncommon Sense," a column in the Robertson County Times, which also appears on Clarksville Online. She is the author of "Seven keys to a sucessful life", which is  available on amazon.com and pubishamerica.com; this is a self-help book for all ages.

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