In The Midst Of The Busy Season

Combine the holiday season with a reorganization project that entails boxing and then moving maybe 15 percent of our household goods up and down stairs, and the weeks finds us with little time to rest. But our holiday preparations are, I think, mostly completed.

I was reminded yesterday of a fundamental difference between the Texas Gal and me, one that I think is echoed in many couples along gender lines: The difference between shopping and buying. When the Texas Gal is going to give a present to someone, she goes shopping, going from store to store to see the possibilities, weighing ideas, looking at alternatives and then finally making a selection, which might entail heading to an establishment she visited some five or six stops ago. That’s shopping.

As for me, I buy. I spend nearly as much time selecting a gift for her or for others, I think, but I do the selection process here at home (or perhaps in the car). By the time I head out the door with my wallet in my hand, I’m ready to buy. If I have three gifts to buy, I make those three stops. Oh, I’ll look at other things as I go, but any additional other items I consider adding to the haul are almost always on a direct line between my planned stops. It happened yesterday as I went out to get the Texas Gal’s main gift. (Well, that’s not quite true; about a month ago, we saw on sale a dock for her iPod Touch – with CD player and radio – that she’d scoped out some time ago, so for her the holidays began early.) But as I walked along the aisles of the selected store yesterday en route to the place where my intended gift was shelved, I scanned the assorted goods along the way. I grabbed a couple of them as I went, but my errand at that store was done in less than twenty minutes, half of that spent in the checkout line.

Of course, all that shopping and buying during this busy month has a purpose: Giving to one another. Whether it’s Christmas or the winter solstice or another event or holiday that comes along at this time of year, to me it’s the giving that matters, whether it’s giving of one’s material resources, one’s time or one’s affection.

And now for some music. Long-time readers might recall that I share only two songs during this season, one of them penned by John Lennon. This is the fifth December for this blog, and from what I can tell, I have not shared this particular cover before. In 2003, the Moody Blues released December, a Christmas album with several original pieces, some traditional pieces and a pretty good cover of Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

I’ll be back Thursday with a version of the other Christmas song I traditionally post here.

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One Response to “In The Midst Of The Busy Season”

  1. jb says:

    We call your shopping method a “hard-target search.” Sooner or later that’s what Christmas shopping becomes at our house, when we get close to the drop-dead date for shipping to out-of-town family or the holiday itself.

    The Moodys album is great from top to bottom, although it might be a bit too sugary for non-Moodys fans. It’s full of genuine warmth and joy, and it’s going to be in the hot December rotation at our house for a long time to come.

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