It’s the week before Christmas, and it’s C-R-A-Z-Y with a capital crazy. Anyway, I don’t celebrate Christmas or at least I didn’t foe several reasons. First off if it’s for religious reasons, I’m not Christian, and in previous years most of my Christian friends who I’d celebrate with were Orthodox Christian and their Christmas lies on January 7th. Second off culturally it didn’t belong as a part of Egypt where I spent the last 20 years of my life. Although the past few years I’ve seen a boom in Christmas themes and decorations all around Cairo, but that is pure commercial. It’s a call to buy, buy, buy. And therefore I ignored it. But now that I’m back in Canada I remembered the Christmases of my childhood and how magical they were and I’m beginning to soften. Me and my DH were even debating on getting a tree next year.
Anyway I digress. It’s the week before Christmas and everywhere is packed. So why does that bother me if I don’t celebrate Christmas? Well because I still have to get Christmas gifts for aDam’s teacher. Also I’m off to Vancouver soon and I need to bring a gift since I’ll be
destroying staying at my friend’s house.
I pondered several times on what to get her and mentally crossed off every item in my list. I haven’t seen her house yet, so I don’t know her style sense – and if I’d ask her she’ll just tell me no gift. I could get toys for the kids but I feel that I need to make more of an effort and anything else in mind is too impersonal or just doesn’t fit.
And then I got it. I would make a baked goodies gift basket. I would both bake stuff and package pretty mixes for her to bake. I would also include gifts for the kids and a nice cake plate or cookie platter or something from Pier 1 (did I mention I love Pier 1), I also thought about DYI-ing a number of things to include but then I decided that I was going overboard. Which I have a tendency to do.
Anyway it took me 4 hours, 4 pages of scribbles, blood-shot eyes from staring at my computer screen for so long plus a three page shopping list at 6 different stores to plan what I would do. But I was finally done and it was off to the busy, busy stores.
Finished my first stop without a hitch and headed to Walmart where I proceeded to squeeze, dodge and duck myself and Jo past hordes of followers for an hour and a half. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, I headed up to the cashier and spent another 15 minutes ringing my purchases.
“How would you like to pay?” asked the awesome and friendly cashier lady
In my card goes through the slot, beep, beep, input pin, beep, beep, declined.
“Can I try again, please”
I re-do all the beeping and again a big fat ‘Decline’ comes through
The lady is starting too look at me as if me and Jo are a two band shoplifting gang and I meekly ask if I could try one more time.
But again I get the big fat rejection of a decline.
I ask her to hold my stuff while I head off to the ATMs, hoping that it was the machine, not me. But unfortunately the ATM decides to side with the cash register and refuses to give me my money.
I pick up the phone and call the bank and after another 15 minutes of verifying my contacts, the bank guy tells my tat my card has been comprised and that I would have to drive all the way to downtown before 4 (it was 3pm and my kid was due home in 20 minutes) to pick up a new debit card.
So now my 2 hours of torture shopping with Jo were useless. I have to drive 40 minutes to downtown tomorrow, pick up a new card and start all over again.
Oh how I love Christmas (I actually do love Christmas 🙂 ).