skew * twelve *  november '95

The Sections 'Tisn't Yet the Season
Holiday shopping tips for the overzealous

Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, Christmas and Hanukkah in December. Right? Right -- unless you ask at The Mall. We went out the other day and were alarmed to realize that it's the holiday season; the stores are all decorated, and Santa's having his picture taken at the mall. Every mall. We must have missed Thanksgiving somehow.

No, wait.... The masthead says it's still November. What gives?

Uh-oh. That means Black Friday hasn't even happened yet. Well, we couldn't reach a consensus on how to handle the whole holiday shopping experience, so here are all of our suggestions.

Judy has the luxury of being a college student; the holiday fluster isn't usually as thick on college campuses. Her suggestions are ideally suited to the ironical among you.

Craig is our resident curmudgeon. His first suggestion began with the claim that "I absolutely love the holiday season." Don't believe it. The rest of his first suggestion was too curmudgeonly even to appear here.
Jesse looks to the untrained eye like a staid conservative. But peel off that conventional outer layer, and we've always suspected that there's a staid conservative underneath -- albeit a staid conservative wearing wacky underwear.

Tina's holiday shopping suggestions tend toward the sneaky and the sadistic; follow them at your peril. She has, as you can see, plenty of holiday spirit -- not cheer specifically, but some sort of spirit....

Eric says it himself:

I'm a known grinch. I enjoy winter solstice far more that any of this Christmas stuff, but if I don't give out the obligatory Christmas gifts, then the family will probably disown me or at least throw me out in the snow. My strategy for surviving the hordes of blood-thirsty mongrels at shopping time has always been as follows:

Don't shop. Make gifts, steal gifts, mail-order gifts from the comfort of your own home. Use the Net; geez, you're on it already. There are thousands of Web pages just aching to take your money and ship you something. If you can't find any, e-mail me and I'll give you a URL. But if you must go out and shop:

Anabella is probably the best gift-giver on staff, if her suggestions are any indication. Can't you just hear the sleigh bells ringing in the background? Some of the Scroogier staff members had to stop reading half way through...

I love Christmas. Even wrapping presents is fun to me; I sit around with friends and family, have hot chocolate, and make a big, great, colorful mess next to the Christmas tree. Those of my friends who hate the wrapping part just keep me company as I color coordinate their paper with their bows. Great fun. Sometimes I even make my own paper at another, earlier mess.

I like the getting-presents part, too, but I really, really hate the crowds. To me, shopping isn't just getting stuff for people, it's thinking about them, about the things they like and the things we like together so I can get presents for them that I like too -- presents that say something about me and how I feel about them. That's pretty hard to do when you're all worked up and cranky, and there are five people crowding you at all times. So I try to live by some rules:

Scott plans to start his shopping around Dec. 20th, probably at The Mall.

And by all means -- as long as they aren't violent means -- try to have a happy holiday.

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