That's right. Apparently I'm difficult to shop for. I don't think so; just get me a few notebooks and some pens and I'll be happy. But either way, Mum and Grandmother had given me some money to buy whatever I wanted. Note that they don't do the same for Jeffrey because, well, he'd blow it. I keep telling Mum that he's eighteen and it's about time he finds out what happens when he blows his money and doesn't have enough money for gas. Seriously, he's never had a job to bother with money, just the money Mum gives him. And he still expects to open a checking account to mess with his own money after he graduates just because they did the same for me. (To be fair, they did the same before I graduated. I actually had a job and needed a way to spend the money without carrying all the cash around.)
Enough on that, though. We went to the mall in Dalton (which is much smaller than the mall in Chattanooga or any of the malls in Atlanta), thinking that maybe it wouldn't be as crowded. We were wrong, but not terribly so.
There's one thing you should know about me, though. I thrive on crowds. Crowds make me feel alive, even if I'm not part of them. Why? Because no matter how crowded a given area is, I can always find a point of equilibrium in the crowd. I am the equilibrium point, the place where everything is calm.
So I entered the stores with a vengeance. I browsed clothes, ignored people around me who pushed and shoved. In the crowds, I was in control, even if they didn't know it. I browsed the entire tiny mall, buying a short sleeve/long sleeve combination and a button-up sweater along the way. I found myself at the other end of the mall but couldn't find anything else I wanted. Finally I met Mum, and we started to head back. We saw a candy store. More importantly, we saw a candy store that had chocolate covered espresso beans. Even though NaNoWriMo's over, and even though I normally don't like coffee, I love these things. They are a thing to be desired. I bought some, and we split up again. I finally saw a store that was having a 50% off everything sale. Being the huge sale shopper that I am, I entered.
Have you ever seen a store in a riot? I never have, but Aeropostale today came pretty close with this sale. It was packed. And by packed, I mean I actually had to squeeze by people to get to stuff, something I think I've done twice before, and that was because the aisles were tiny to begin with. I was looking at a rack of jeans when a five-year-old boy popped out of the rack. I tried not to jump. And then I kept bumping into people and pushing into people while trying to get to a clothes rack I wanted to get to, and ... yeah. I did find a pair of jeans I wanted, though, and because of the sale I got them for just twenty dollars. Score.
So that was my day in all its shopping-fighting glory.
Monday's Christmas. According to ForecastFox, the weather will be 12C and breezy with rain. So much for a White Christmas. Oh wait, I've never had one of those. Never mind. One day I'll live somewhere with the white Christmas I've never had, instead of the slightly green but mostly brown Christmas that I have here. I think Agnes has brainwashed me into thinking that all grass is green. It should be the school slogan. Agnes Scott: Here the grass is always greener on our side.
Oh, I've received cards from Ryan, Manda, and Kristen. And a virtual gift from rainbowstrlght, which is at my userinfo right now. Thank you!
Holiday traditions in my family have changed over the years. When Uncle Pat and Aunt Carol were married, we (and by we, I mean the entire immediate family, which includes all those cousins, along with Aunt Carol's family) used to go to their house on Christmas Eve and open presents there. Then on Christmas Day we'd open presents at my house (same we minus Aunt Carol's family), eat Christmas dinner which was at lunchtime at Grandmother's house, and open presents at Grandmother's. Everyone else would just bring their presents for us to Grandmother's and open them there.
After Uncle Pat and Aunt Carol split up, we'd open presents at Uncle Pat's on Christmas Eve, and do the same Christmas day routine. Pretty much the same thing minus the gobs of people on Christmas Eve.
Over the last few years we haven't really opened presents at Uncle Pat's on Christmas Eve, as he'd just bring them for us here. Or for us adults and Jeffrey and me, he'd just give us money so he wouldn't have to shop. We're not going to Uncle Pat's this year either, but we're not opening presents at my house either. Or at least, the whole family isn't. Just the four of us are going to do that in the morning, and then we'll all go to Grandmother's for the same dinner/lunch and opening of presents, during which I get to play Santa and pass them around. It's great fun. Some of the older young kids (if that makes sense) have taken to helping me, which is great. It's not so great when all of them decide to help, and there's all this bustle going on under the Christmas tree. (Hey, at least I didn't add "...if you know what I mean" to that.)
So to my question. What kind of holiday traditions do you and your family practice? I'm curious.