Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Favorite Xmas Eve Story - Sat/Sun off-topic

This is a bonus post. Regular post is right below.

Many years ago, my boys were hockey players and the fund raising opportunity for the team was a gift wrapping booth at the nicest mall in town. I happily signed up to work some shifts and I thought to myself, I bet the customers at that last shift on the 24th are a hoot, so I signed up for that shift. I had an ulterior motive for being away from my house on Dec 24th which I will explain at the end.

Sure enough, the people who arrived at the gift wrapping booth on the 24th were frantic, frazzled, and fun. Fun, in a *thank-heaven-that's-not-me* way. The most fun was watching them sigh with relief as you assured them you could get the wrapping done very quickly. Around 1 pm a man brought a large number of gifts and was eager to drop them off and pick them up later. I mentioned that unless all the gifts were going to one person he should probably fill out gift tags for us to put on the gifts, as once they were wrapped, he might have trouble remembering what was in them. He appreciated the tip and quickly made out tags and scurried off. I said to a co-worker, "He's headed to a bar to drink and he will forget to come back before we close up shop."

I could write another post about the number of times my intuition is spot on. Sure enough, we were 15 minutes from closing and his huge stack was the last order waiting to be picked up. We couldn't remember if we had even mentioned the closing time and were pondering what to do with the stack of gifts. Maybe there would be a helpful security person at the mall after closing. Fortunately, at the very last minute, he came racing in, not inebriated, but certainly very cheerful and *spirited.* Whew - and we all headed home to proceed with our own Xmas eve plans.

Why did I want to be gone on the afternoon of Dec 24th? Because it was always my job to shuttle the 4 other family members through the one shower and coax the boys into torturous *dress-up clothes* which pretty much deleted any enjoyment there might be to the holidays. Dress up clothes for boys did not mean suits and ties. It meant shirts with collars, like polo shirts, instead of t-shirts. Approaching the boys with polo shirts was like coming at them with medieval shackles or a noose. And I don't even want to discuss pants and shoes. So, I wanted my husband to experience the task. In previous years, he had chosen to shower last which meant he was avoiding the battle royale that went on after the other two were through the shower. I do not recall what I found when I got home. There is no family story about the time we had to go to the emergency room for stitches before we went to Grandma's for Xmas Eve, so they must have been ready to go.

Now that my kids are adults, I should ask them if they recall the ordeal of getting dressed on Xmas eve. Hopefully all y'all are having things just the way you like them during the entire holiday season. I am writing this on Nov 13th, so a lot can change in 6 weeks. I don't always get around to editing and updating posts before they pop up.

The image is the first thing that popped up when I did a search for gift wrap on Pinterest.

I would love to have my own booth at the mall - and offer just black or white wrapping paper. Of course the hand lettered gift tags would be the stars of the show.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you :-)
      Onward to the kitchen....

  2. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    You missed your calling. You should be an author. I enjoy reading your stories. You paint a vivid picture.
    I have a similar story only mine is for Easter morning. My husband got to experience getting our son and daughter ready for sunrise service. He had to be there before 7:00. I was in choir so I was at church at 5:30 for practice before the service. He didn't have a problem getting our son in a shirt and tie. It was fixing our daughter's hair and putting bows in. I'd sit in church imaging the chaos that was going on in our house.

    1. Great story, Alyce. And now we get to chuckle as we watch our kids wrestle our grandkids into clothes, shoes, boots, hats, whatever....

  3. Great story, and what amazing wrapping in the bonus picture. Merry Christmas!

  4. I hope you write a Personal experience every Christmas!