Apparently, according to my wife, we`ll be done Christmas shopping tomorrow.

Tomorrow has the makings of a great day.

I get to go toy shopping at a special location that thinks it`s wise to allow more poeple into the store at 6:00am then actually live in all of Milwaukee.
Every year they start advertising TOY DAY in about mid-summer.
I think Christmas season now starts right after the Fourth of July around here.
The whole center of the very large store is gutted of merchandise, and replaced with millions of toys. It would be kinda cool if I was about 7 years old, or if I could sleep through it.

Well, for some reason the wife just loves this, along with about 187,000 other wives, and their children, and the husbands, who all have the same look on their faces, sort of a half eye-rolling, half where praytell is the coffee machine, half how did I miss the memo that Hell broke loose - look on their faces.

The good news is that well have most of the kids shopping done by this time tomorrow night. As long as were there Ill try to get as much stuff for the other people on the list too. Im guessing about 2/3 of the total shopping should be finished. Then, maybe the credit cards will almost be paid off by Christmas day, if Im lucky.

Do you also buy your Thanksgiving turkey around Memorial day? :stuck_out_tongue:

I have all my Christmas present shopping for this year done. Toys for next years birthday have been ordered and I’m paying them off. Plus I have ordered my food hampers for Christmas 2004 and will start paying them off in January.

Me obsessive compulsive much, no! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hit submit too early: About 6 years ago I went to one of those toy sale things at the Melbourne Show Grounds. There were hundreds of insane shoppers there. The two women I went with (later to become my SIL and MIL) had the strategy planned before we got there, one of us stayed with the trolley, another followed around the man doing the 10 minute red light specials and lucky last (me) got to be the runner.

Was hellish and I swore never to do it again.

We`re leaving to go to hell now. Full report when I (if) get back.

I’m impressed, actually–I thought your “we” was going to be the special marital “we” that means your wife did nearly all of the shopping. That’s what my belived husband would have meant. The fact that you’re going along–and your WE really does mean WE–is really commendable.

This year will be interesting because we usually stiff our son when it comes to toys. We know the relatives will buy plenty and he won’t notice. But he’s 4 now. Plus the toys are getting a lot more interesting for his parents.

We have the perfect relationship. Gifts only when we feel like it and none on holidays or birthdays. Takes off all the pressure, no upsmanship, no guilt, no hassle. And every gift is a surprise, since neither of us is ever expecting it. I highly recommend it. There are few things worse than obligatory gift-giving, IMO.

I totally agree. And I totally agree.
This is a family tradition every year, one which perpetuates the continued relliance on alcohol to numb the “joy” one feels.

Saramamlana, That comment is not necessary.

Since we usually have two turkeys in the freezer at any given time, a trip to the store on Memorial Day is not required.:smiley:
OK, some observations.
1). Parents (lots) are “toy-crazy”.
2). Very large people, who rely on mechanical means to get around, should try to avoid such events.
3). Some of the husbands who attended are quite clever. Including myself.
4). They didnt serve coffee anywhere near the building. Possibly by design. 5). Toy designers, whom probably make $trillions, succeed every year in developing a "must have" toy. 6). My wife gets the credit for "Alert Person of the Day" award in locating and amassing several number 5).s. Some for possible resale on E-bay.
7). 6:30 AM was not nearly early enough to even be close to the front of the line that had formed in front of the store, which eventually opened at 7:00 AM.
8). Shopping carts need to be much larger.
9). The aisles in the store were specially designed to allow exactly 2.000000000000000000000001 carts to navigate the aisles in opposite directions.
10). 8). contradicts 9)., which is part of the problem.
11). The owners of the store are probably flipping through the pages of “The Yacht Owner” magazine as I write.
12). I ate and drank too much at the Olive Garden afterwards.
13). We ran out of Tums.
14). Before I forget, we were there for 4.5 hours.

The wife rattles me out of bed at 5:30, waking me from a dream in which I was ‘head of the house’ and could dictate my own sleeping habits.
Get the three kids (ages 3,2, and 1) ready, this is easy to do because they are in deep sleep, not so easy when they are almost asleep or almost awake. As you parent know.

Go to drop the kids off at the MIL`s house, God bless her soul this morning. Then make tracks to the store, with the wife driving, must hurry, no time to stop completely for officially posted Red Octogon traffic signs, certainly no time to make a 30 foot detour for one large cup of coffee at any of the numerous gas stations along the way.

Arrive at store around 6:30, and to my horror, there were already 150 people standing in line waiting to get in. Im thinking, "Oh, they must be opening early". Not. We park, and get in line with all the other people, mostly Moms, and a few husbands, who will be strategically used later in the story. Were making small talk with those around us, when this van pulls up to the front of the line and stops right next to this very large woman. The side door opens and she gets into the van in such a way as to keep her legs sort of in line while using the van as a temporary seat, until the store opens. I beleive her husband was the driver. I sort of felt sorry for her, she really wanted to do this but couldn`t stand much longer unassisted. She ended up getting one of the complimentary electric wheel chairs when the store opened up. Again, I felt bad for her. Today, at this store, was not the time and the place for the weak.

7:00 finally rolls around and the ‘gates of Hell’ open up to gladly swallow us all in. By the time we got our butts into the store there were already some lucky bastards in the checkout lines with the days take. They must have known exactly what they wanted and where in the store it was. This was a tactical accomplishment that I couldnt fathom because the store had the entire toy section draped off from public view until this morning. To get an idea of the layout, I would say that you could probably just fit the entire toy area onto a football field. Ten aisles, each about 75 feet long and probably ten feet wide, center to center. The store itself is about the size of an average
Wal-Mart, maybe a little bigger. I`m not even sure what merchandise was normally in the area that the toys occupied.

We (the wife and myself) each grab a cart (full size) and start to navigate the toy section looking for anything interesting, new, colorfull, coffee, etc. As the store fills up, this idea about pushing two carts down each aisle becomes an excersize in futillity. We muscle our way near the checkout end of the aisles when I notice a group of about ten husbands just standing in a row at the end of the aisles. They were waiting for the wives, who went up and down the aisles cartless, to bring back the loot. What a great idea. I motion to the wife that I too, should do this. She agrees and continues shopping. So, me and about 20 other husbands at this point are standing in a row waiting for the wives to emerge from the aisles with the goods. “I should have brought my camera”, I think to myself. “No-one will believe this.”

Soon, the wife stumbles into the ‘Find of the Cetury’, the hard to find and elusive Care Bear section. She notices that they are flying off the shelves- so she grabs one of each (about ten of them) and brings them back to me.
“What the hell?”, I say, as she dumps them into the cart. “Our daughter will love these”,-- loosely translated this means that the daughter will probably get one or two and the rest will go on E-bay in an attempt to edge our credit card towards the positive numbers again. Numerous aisle trips and a couple hours later the madness begins to settle. Now its time to slip off to a quiet corner of the store to gather our senses and decide which toys, in the two shopping carts full, we`re actually going to keep. We use one of the carts as the “Keeper” cart and the other as the “Abandone in the corner of the store full of toys” cart. The Care Bears made it into the keeper cart, of course.

The rest of the day follows similar story lines, with Dad (me) eventually getting to wander into the electronics, hardware, and auto sections of the store where I partake in our spiraling credit debt. The lack of sleep/coffee must have taken it`s toll. I may be mistaken, but I think the cash register went after it ran us up instead of the usual .

In what turned out to be one of the better thoughts of the day, the wife asked me if we should leave the kids at her moms` for another hour or so while we get something to eat. I pretended to be in deep thought while I pondered the response. “Well I guess, yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” Knowing full well that this meant there would be coffee just around the corner. And drinks. We chose “The Olive Garden”, great choice it was.

Afterwards, picked up the kids, who fell asleep on the way, came home and I collapsed on the bed for a two hour nap.
Next, I have to look forward to the all-night gift wrapping session Christmas Eve.

I just know those toys will sit in the closet `till then.