Friday, December 12, 2008

Guaranteed Delivery

I got my Christmas shopping done early this year. Don't judge me--I'm not one of those people who always have their shopping done weeks or months ahead of time. In fact, I kind of enjoy getting out in all that mess just days before the holiday.

This year I've dramatically pared down my list. No, it's not about the economy. It's due primarily to a lack of gratitude from the recipients. My niece (8) and nephew (10) are the primary beneficiaries of my holiday largess. He called me twice this year, and sent me several e-mails, including two expressing his desire for me to get well after my surgery and another procedure. Sweet kid. She called once to confirm that we had in fact got a dog. I threatened to send her a lump of coal a few years ago. She informed me that if I did, she'd send me a rotten potato.

I sat down on Thanksgiving Day and ordered most of the gifts I'm giving this year online. I sent a lot of gift baskets. My parents don't need anything, so food or spa gifts are always appreciated. I ended up canceling quite a few orders when I got to the screen where the delivery charges showed up. I don't support highway robbers. Period.

My mother had several Christmas Cacti before she moved to Virginia and was thrilled when they spontaneously bloomed each winter. So being the thoughtful son that I am, I decided it would be nice to send her one for the holidays. Jackson & Perkins had exactly what I was looking for--for $39. I bought two lovely specimens from Lowe's for $5 each a few days earlier, but was willing to pay 8 times as much to have it shipped properly. Then I discovered it was going to cost $15 more for shipping. No thanks. I'll send her $10 and tell her to go to Lowe's.

My nephew is a Pokemon freak. He's been obsessed with all things Pokemon for more than three years. I really don't understand the attraction, but it has made shopping for him for Christmas and birthdays fairly easy. Last year I had a hard time finding Pokemon crap, so when I ran into a new display of all things Pokemon at Kmart a few weeks ago, I loaded up. My niece got a load of crap from American Girl. That stuff never goes on sale, but at least they offer free shipping.

I got all the Pokemon stuff wrapped last weekend--no easy task as it all comes in odd-sized packages. Took it to The UPS Store on Monday. The sales girl was sweet and other than the stud in her nose, a pretty little girl. I can say that because I'm old and gay. She informed me that UPS no longer guarantees regular deliveries to arrive before Christmas. Guaranteed delivery cost twice as much. Given that it was December 8, I told her I'd take regular delivery and if it didn't arrive by Christmas, I wouldn't be using UPS any longer. He got it yesterday.

Sometimes, it's downright fun to be...

The Crotchety Old Man

No comments:

Follow CrotchetyMan on Twitter