"It's a Mad Dash"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, December 16, 2016

Look out – it's crazy out there, everywhere. Malls are jammed (yes, we still shop in them). Each store is having a bigger sale than the one next to it. Many stores feature a Santa's helper so there is a big congestion as all the kids and parents impatiently wait their turn. Some really tiny tots show up, even though they don't have a clue what it's all about and they wind up bawling and spoiling it for the others. Some youngsters do know, and as they rattle their list off to Santa, parents eagerly make notes.

Drug stores like to get in on the Christmas season. It amazes me how they can cram in toys and gifts, wrap and bows right along with dinner table trimmings. If you actually need drugs, it may be a long wait with all the people in the store. There are also long lines at the super markets as people shop for their Christmas dinner fixings.

The post office is a place where back-ups occur. Seems like everyone holds their mail until the last minute and many need assistance with packages or require postage for their cards. Try not to blame the postal workers, their jobs change daily it seems. One good thing, there are cards and trinkets to buy while you wait, just like most places where you wait in line.

Now is not a good time to order the "never before seen" specials you see demonstrated on TV. I watched three egg cooking devices being tested, and they all failed to perform as described. I would think the guy doing that demo would have been really embarrassed, kind of funny actually. Online sales are brisk and Amazon swears all your gifts will arrive by Christmas.

Electronic devices are at the top of many shoppers list. If you purchase them, you will first make the recipient very happy until they find out how big the set-up job will be.

If you have gifts shipped, let the person know in advance when they will arrive. Most delivery companies, especially during this busy time, simply set the package on the porch or by your door and maybe ring the doorbell. Public warnings are made each year that if packages are left outside, they may disappear. So if you're home, answer the ring and check frequently for deliveries. Once you have read this column, there is only one week before the fat man arrives. It will be a hectic one. Like me, you may have to shop, wrap, and ship those last minute gifts.

One thing is certain, no matter where you go, or what you're shopping for, you can count on being in a traffic jam of one kind of another.

As I see it, all you folks in the Thumb will be receiving one thing for sure — lots of snow and that could slow down the dash you still want to make. And speaking of dashing – that's what I have to do. The list awaits.

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