"Have a Jolly Ollie Christmas"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, December 14, 2012

Time is running out. No, I’m not talking about the “cliff,” I’m telling you there are only 10 days left for Christmas shopping. I ask you, which is more important?

Christmas shopping has just about gotten out of control. First, it was “Black Friday,” which actually began on Wednesday, with a little time out on Thursday to have a turkey dinner. For many, as soon as dinner was over, it was time to dash back to the shopping lines to get in on one of the “priced the lowest of the year” sales.

Lines were long as people waited for doors to open and there was some pushing and shoving. A television crew caught a chilling moment. One shopper, near the front of the line turned and shouted, “If you don’t stop pushing, I’m gonna cut one of you -----.” I’m sure that incident made many of those in line wonder why they were there. Was it the thrill of saving a few dollars? Was it to buy something not even needed? Perhaps it was just to say they shopped on Black Friday — in an angry crowd of people.

As I viewed reports the next day, I was assured I made the right decision. had stayed home, snuck into the kitchen for a second piece of homemade pumpkin pie, relaxed with friends and neighbors then off — to bed, not the mall. I had enjoyed sitting around chatting over a glass of eggnog, and the second piece of pie was even better than the first. Best of all, I suffered no threats to my life. Oh yes, one neighbor did threaten to have another eggnog but passed on that when he saw the ice cream.

Some of our guests were up and at ’em early the next morning to join the Black Friday sales and came home later with a car full of items so the early sales did not produce a sell out. Cyber Monday was just as crazy for those who opted for shopping online. Pat spent hours trying to get her order placed and did not even receive a confirmation. After having to follow up, she learned the order was on its way. When it arrived in two separate boxes that were torn and held together with tape (obviously put on by the shipper), there were no packing slips enclosed. She was able to determine the amount spent however because the charge was expediently placed on her credit card.

I’m happy to say there is still plenty of merchandise for sale in the stores. If you watch the ads closely, you will find prices lower than the “rock bottom” Black Friday sale prices.

I have a question that we all ask this time of year, “What would you like for Christmas?” The most popular answer from those of us past the “Go tell Santa” age seems to be a gift card from a favorite store. I suppose giving a gift card is OK but it seems to take a lot of the fun out of Christmas shopping. It makes me wonder if my taste in gifts is not appreciated. If I can’t find the particular card requested, I’m out of luck and may not be able to send a gift. I don’t want to give them something they wouldn’t like.

Oops, that sounded like I’m losing the “spirit” of Christmas. Speaking of the spirit, as I see it, there seems to be less bickering about holiday displays and Christmas music and greetings. They are not challenged as much. Do you suppose we may be learning to live together better? Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate this holiday season?

Is it just me that enjoys the decorations and light displays plus the good wishes they are sent with? Although some are still offended by the “Merry Christmas” wish, I’m sure it is offered with a joyous intent. No matter your religion, race or beliefs, that wish is still the most popular and heartfelt wish offered in the USA, so take pleasure in giving and receiving it.




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