I hate shopping with lots of other people around. The slow-walkers you can't get around, the people who stop in the middle of the aisles without notice, the kids who scream because they cannot take the toys home and the lack of parking - I just hate all of it.
So in an attempt to avoid some craziness, I ventured out on Saturday to do most of my Christmas shopping (the big sales start on Friday - the day after Thanksgiving - known as Black Friday here).
The Christmas cards I ordered last week also came in right before the weekend, so my plan was to get most of the holiday-related madness out of the way so I can spend part of December - Viktoria's Birthday Season - cooking good food and making holiday candy. And maybe even get some relaxing done, while others are out running around like crazy.
I didn't get nearly everything done that I had planned, of course - I never do in terms of shopping - but I think I made out pretty good. Especially in terms of getting things for free because someone screwed up.
For Albie's grandma and for a friend of mine, I had ordered some re-prints of photos at Walmart. I stopped by yesterday afternoon to place the order via a machine in the store, thinking I could go back today to pick up the prints. Of course, the machine was broken and the pictures were never ordered.
Four trips to the store later, I get a call saying "they are all set, you can come pick them up." Credit card in hand, I rush to the check-out counter.
"No charge," the lady says. "You had to wait way too long for these."
I ran out of the store happily - and of course I forgot to pick up the extra wrapping paper I so desperately needed. When I got home, and Albie reminded me I also forgot to pick up the W40 he had asked me to get, I ripped open the photo envelope to show him what I planned to give his grandma.
"Wait a minute!" I said. "There's two of everything!"
And it didn't cost a thing.
A similar thing happened with the Christmas cards. As I was in the midst of the last batch of cards early this morning, I realized the amount of envelopes I had put aside and the inch-high stack of cards left on my desk didn't exactly match up. For some reason, the card company had sent me 150 photo cards instead of the 75 I ordered.
The only problem now is to figure out what to do with all the extra stuff. I really don't want to send out the same cards again next year! Anyone want two?