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Gross Point Blank

Bah humbug!

Oops...I did it again. And no, I'm not singing a Britney Spears song.

Rather, I'm referring to holiday shopping. I don't think I've ever completed my holiday shopping by Dec. 24.

Those of you who know Grandview Parks and Recreation's Gretchen Chronis know that lady's done by July. It'll be 100 degrees out and you'll say, "How'd your weekend go Gretch?" Her answer goes something like this: "Great! I just finished my Christmas shopping!"

Not me.

I don't know why I put it off. I truly can't give you a reason.

I had to go to Columbia Center Mall earlier this month, simply to find a guest book. That's it, that's all I needed. The chaos in the parking lot alone nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. And the crowds...let me just say it was awful.

Needlessly said, I didn't last long in Barnes & Noble, nor have I returned to the mall.

Finally, on Dec. 20, I broke down and shopped a bit here in Sunnyside at Wal-Mart.

While it wasn't quite the nightmare Tri-Cities was, it wasn't heaven either, nor was it delightful.

The only joy I experienced shopping that day came from shopping for one gift for one friend. He's a man (automatically qualifying him to be extremely difficult to shop for). Tickled with my ingenuity, I bought the man a Smitty's Conoco gift card.

Shopping for my son is really difficult. The high-tech mumbo jumbo he tries to explain to me gets me lost all the time.

For months I heard, "Mom, I want a Nintendo DS or a Nintendo DS Light. The light is only $129 and the DS is about $100."

For months, he heard, "There's no way on earth I am going to buy you a $129 light!"

No kidding, this argument occurred for at least two months.

Guess what I learned. A Nintendo DS Lite is a suped up version of a DS, not a light in which to see by.

It's funny because he has a Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP and I'm always asking, "Did you remember to grab your DS?" I'll hear back,"MOM! I DO NOT HAVE A DS, I WANT ONE FOR CHRISTMAS!"

Shopping for the games is just as bad. They have Pokemon Green and Pokemon Leaf Green. Is it just me, or does this confuse you too? He's got a game called Pokemon Blue. But now he wants Pokemon Blue Something Or Other, frankly I can't remember.

Come January, I think I'll write Gretch a check, give her Den's 2007 wish list and let her do my shopping for me.

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