Okay, so I admit to being a bit dense, but last night the realization finally started to sink in. In fact, I flew right over the PANIC stage and landed smack-dab in the middle of CRAZY DESPERATION! Six shopping days before the big Christmas event, and at 5:45 p.m., I had yet to purchase a single gift--nary a one--unless you count the new sewing machine case I bought for myself the day after Thanksgiving. (Black Friday scared me so bad, I still hadn't mustered the courage to venture out into mall traffic again.)
With a husband, five children, three daughter-in-laws, two-and-a-half grandkids, two mothers, a herd of in-laws, nieces, and nephews, and a passel of co-workers to buy for, I know the only hope I have of accomplishing this gargantuan shopping feat before next Sunday is to solicit help. So, while my husband was still under the influence of his NFL-Sunday-afternoon-game-and-nap stupor, I whispered in his ear using my best sugar-and-spice voice. "Just circle the parking lot once or twice while I run in to purchase a couple of gift certificates," I pleaded. "Ten minutes tops. That's all I need to jump-start my shopping marathon. I don't want to fight for a parking place for a ten-minute excursion into the mall."
And lo and behold, he said YES!
Before he could wake up and realize what he'd done, I threw him a jacket and hollered over my shoulder, "I'll race you to the car."
Five minutes later, I was just about to go back inside and ramp the coercion tactics up a notch, when he appeared in the driveway, laden with his mall survival essentials. . .car keys, travel mug of strong coffee. . .cell phone. . .XM radio. . . and. . .the REMOTE CONTROL for the big screen TV. (And no, we don't have a television in our car. Don't bother trying to figure this one out. It's beyond mere mortal's logic.)
But my lovable hunk of a helpmate got me to thinking. Why hasn't someone come up with this idea before now? Maybe I'll patent it and get rich. Better yet, I may have completed next year's shopping list in one fell swoop. Now, to come up with a name and search out a manufacturer. Just you wait and see--at the top of America's shopping list next year will be a combination cell phone/key fob/satellite radio/universal remote and thermal travel mug. . .complete with a global positioning beacon so it's impossible to lose. Men just don't know it yet, but this is the one item they MUST HAVE!
One of the beauties of Christian fiction is that we satisfy a vital MUST HAVE need for our readers they may not yet even recognize. If we are doing our job right, we offer not only entertainment, but direction, comfort, and a navigational connection with the Most High.
Well, I may have a head start on next year's shopping list, but that doesn't help much with the urgent gift-buying tasks at hand. Since my husband is not available tonight, I wonder who I can badger into a quick shopping blitz. I think I hear my daughter upstairs. . .
Oh, and just in case I don't have time to stop by again this year, have a Christmas filled with pleasant surprises and a blessing-packed New Year.