Christmas Shopping For This Holiday In Need Of A New Name

It’s a Monday morning, and I don’t have to be at work! I have actually been having four-day workweeks for a while due to extra days I had to take off or lose before Christmas, but having today off seems much more divine somehow. It’s probably the weather.

The weather outside is cold and windy. And not just a little windy, either. It’s winds of 30 km/h increasing to 60 km/h and gusting to 90 km/h (56 mph). Normally I would be all fine with this kind of winter weather when I have a day off, because normally I would just burrow more deeply into my bed and read comics and eat popcorn and not care what was going on outside. Not today, though.

Today is my last possible day for going Christmas shopping for my little brother’s Christmas present. I was going to make him something, because Fidridge and I usually make our gifts to each other, but time got away on me, and I’m lacking the creativity at the moment to create a kick ass Christmas present in one week.

I think I know what I’m going to get him, but the store where the potential present happens to be is approximately ten blocks from my apartment, and without the help of a motorized vehicle, I’m looking forward to a very frigid walk through raging winds and gusts of snow.

I’ve decided to put off the inevitable a little bit longer with a hot bath, in which I am going to read Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (which I am quite enjoying). This warm bath will be followed by nachos at my favourite nachos purveyor, because they throw a whole bunch of fresh vegetables on top after they melt the cheese so that the vegetables remain all cool and crisp. After that, I will make my way to the store that is holding my last Christmas purchase, because I have to, and I miss Fidridge, and he would be truly disgusted with me if all I had for him on Christmas morning was an “oops, I’m sorry” and a cheque.

A couple of hours later... Okay, I had my bath, read my book, ate my nachos, and then I made it back to my apartment building, because the freaking ridiculous wind was too much for delicate old me. Now I am waiting for a taxi. This will greatly increase the cost of the present I am buying. Fidridge, I hope you like whatever it is that I am getting for you for Christmas, because I think the Universe is trying to conspire against me. (Okay, I know that cold weather in December and opting to take a taxi are not sure signs of the Universe being out to screw with my present-buying, but I have a headache, which always makes everything appear bigger).

Another couple of hours later... I have finally and successfully bought Fidridge’s present. It took twenty minutes for the taxi to arrive, which was stressing me out, because the store is an independent and closes earlier than most. It finally came, and I it took it to the bank, which was near the store that I was going to buy the gift at, so that I could get cash to pay the driver with. I noticed the grocery store neighbouring the bank and remembered that our three finches were going to starve to death over the holidays without some bird seed, so I popped in there to pick some up. (This is all terribly fascinating to you, I know).

I was readying myself for heading out into the cold when I realized that I had left both my toque and my gloves in the taxi. There is no way I could brave the distance between me and the shop without proper attire, and as luck would have it, there was a dollar store next door to the grocery store where I could buy gloves, but my head damn near froze off on the two-block trek to the store I originally wanted to go to in the first place. The store didn’t have what I wanted, because I am stupid and waited until five days before The Day, but I managed to cobble together something pretty decent.

I called another taxi, because I was still hatless and ten blocks from home, and the second taxi also took twenty minutes to arrive, so I ended up hanging around the store all awkwardly, which is how I had to do it. The place likes to think of itself as arty, and the staff/owners are hard-pressed to smile or act like you are anything but beneath them. They also look rather peaked, as though they eat only the tiniest organic amounts and suffer from iron deficiency, and if they were artists with art to suffer for, they would. I am not fond at all of the peakedly arty snooty types. Thanks be to the Universe that they are few in number and generally too weak to raise much of a ruckus.

I’m thinking that I need to get used to calling Christmas something else altogether. I really don’t believe in the whole Christmas as Christ’s birthday bit, because it’s not, and even the Christians will admit that much. I’m not Christian, so it seems stupid to be calling it Christmas.

The Holidays isn’t really a good substitute. There are holidays all over the place all year, so picking one of the holidays out of the pack and deeming it The Holidays seems rather unfair to the rest of the long weekends and other government sanctioned breaks from work. I lump calling this time of the year The Season in with this one. It is not The Season. It is merely one segment of a much larger and more important period of our natural calendar called Winter.

Why can’t we call it, at least in my part of the world where it is cold and dark much of the time, the We’re Too Suicidal To Function Properly At Work So We Need Several Days To Spend Drinking Festivus, or how about the Fattening Ourselves Up For The Real Hibernation Of January And February When We Are Too Sluggish To Go Grocery Shopping Sit-Down? I know those titles are much too long to be catchy, but I’m sure if we put our heads together we can come up with something short, to-the-point, and much more timely than this dusty Christmas bit we keep pulling out every year.

Limits” by Jorges Luis Borges

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