Tip of the Quill: A Journal

Yesterday, my friend Sara was horrified – horrified – that my Christmas shopping wasn’t finished. In fact, I had barely even started it. In fact, I hadn’t bought a single thing. She was also appalled that I wasn’t that stressed out about it.
Today, I did my Christmas shopping. All of it. Granted, there was one thing which I could not find and will have to replace with something else, and there’s one thing I’ll need to pick up on my way home, but everything else was bought today. Further, I’ve gotta say that Amazon.com kicks some serious ass. One of my Christmas presents needed to be shipped to New York, which wasn’t a concern, but another needed to be shipped to Japan. This, of course, gave me pause. My attempts to browse amazon.co.jp were unsuccessful, and besides, what I wanted to send wasn’t something that I really wanted to be in Japanese. I fretted about how much it would cost to ship, about what kinds of importation nightmares such a thing could suffer, etc. But no – I popped onto Amazon to see what would happen if I entered Japan as the receiving country, and it didn’t even blink. Further, the shipping wasn’t even that expensive, and after the Amazon discount on the thing, the price came about to almost as much as if I’d bought it at the mall and handed it to the recipient myself. I’m floored, and utterly tickled.
Now, before y’all start resenting my sorry butt for having such an easy time of my Christmas shopping, know that today wasn’t a paragon of organization by a long shot. I hit one store twice, two different Best Buys three times, Target three times, and drove in and out of Evanston at least twice, and probably three times. (I know I hit Skokie at least three times.) Further, I am ashamed to admit that my Christmas cards will all have American flag stamps on ’em, because the grocery store didn’t have Christmas stamps and the Post Office, in yet another staggering display of willful carelessness, doesn’t offer extended holiday hours. Still, I’m now bunkered down in front of the TV with a pile of packages and a mountain of gift wrap, settling in for a long night of wrapping and packing so I can hit the highway for Ohio tomorrow.
On the very sizeable chance that I don’t get a chance to post again before the big day, I wish each and every last one of you a very Merry Christmas, or a slightly belated Happy Hanukkah, and a truly Happy New Year. It’s been a real tempest of a year, what with the moving and all the crazy projects and whatnot. I’ll probably pop back online to post some kind of year-in-review wrap-up between Christmas and New Year’s, to highlight the lunacy that was 2004. Until then, be good, be happy, and most of all, be safe!