I Went Christmas Shopping and Survived

I went shopping yesterday. I needed some deer. Not real deer, just a couple small not-real reindeer, to round out my holiday decorating. As some of you know from my holiday sing-along post, circa 2014, I equate holiday shopping with the fifth circle of hell.

This year, however, I was dressing up my fireplace mantle for Christmas when I had a sudden vision of what was needed next-a metallic reindeer, about 14-inches in height, and a second smaller reindeer. When I have a vision I have to act fast before I lose the picture in my head. I don’t have time to wait for the UPS man. Visions like these, so clear and rare, require quick action (and somewhat immediate gratification). I put on my comfortable walking shoes, combed my hair, brushed my teeth, bade my family a fond farewell in case it was my last, and entered the holiday shopping fray.  My goal was to keep my cart in my own lane, not trip over stray toddlers, locate the deer, make the purchase and finish the mantle by dinner.

Guess what? It was kind of a pleasant experience. I can’t believe I just wrote that. It felt good to wander store aisles and touch things. I’m a toucher, I admit it, okay? I’ve never been able to keep my hands off the merchandise. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I went to three different stores searching for the perfect deer. I went to one store twice. And then, because I found what I needed and didn’t die, I went to two more stores just for the hell of it, and bought real Christmas presents. I didn’t realize until I was in the store touching things how much I missed this. Online shopping suddenly strikes me as a soulless, lonely activity. It engages only one’s sight. Real shopping engages all the senses.

Don’t get me wrong, online shopping still has its place. Without it, the main road in my town would have been a parking lot, the parking lots would have been tortuous, the lines in the stores would have wound around the block and the shoppers would have been mean. My shopping experience was pleasant because everyone else stayed home. If you live in any state other than Rhode Island, I highly recommend it. If you live in Rhode Island, I’m exaggerating. Don’t listen to me. Hey, look, quick-is that a Toys-R-Us cyber coupon? Better get that. Go get it.

The mantle vision is coming along. It still needs something. More lights? I’m not sure. I may have to shop again.

winter mantle

Are those some good looking reindeer or what?

  17 comments for “I Went Christmas Shopping and Survived

  1. Anonymous
    December 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Chicken, you have kicked the ass of mantle decoration. Kicked it good. Looks beautiful. – GG

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks GG-I’m thinking it needs something else. I’m waiting for another vision. Or suggestion. That would also be good.


  2. jenny_o
    December 4, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Oh, I love it! If you’re looking for something to lighten things up (you mentioned more lights) maybe some shiny silver garland along the back of the mantle or some white fluffy stuff under everything (for snow) might work. Only suggestions and I find decorating is such a personal thing, I’m sure you will have your own epiphany.

    I am a toucher, too. Everything. Fabric, metal, wood, leather, toys, cookware – doesn’t matter. Gotta FEEL those suckers. And in the case of toys, play with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 4, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Jenny-I was thinking of snow or something snow-like. The garland might work well and be less messy. Thank you!


  3. December 4, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I’m a less is more. I’d stop there. Someone else could “more” it, if they wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 5, 2017 at 12:17 am

      Thanks Joanne. I am one of those that sometimes doesn’t know when to quit. If a glass of wine is good, 3 seems like a great idea to me. But I hear what you are saying, in this case. I have some shiny frost/snowflake like glitter that might add a minimalist hint of snow. And then I could rearrange the branches and lights to create a little more balance. And maybe a little snow bank. And a train….a misfit toy…..a dentist…no, no, no. See what I mean?


  4. December 4, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Judith Blacquier
    December 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    gorgeous !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Doug in Oakland
    December 5, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Nice pine cones. My friend Sara used to start growling at people or stores that sold pine cones to decorate with, mostly because when she lived in Truckee, enough pine cones to fill a wheelbarrow would land on the lawn and driveway every other month or so.
    I think I remember my mom decorating pine cones by spraying them with silver or gold spray paint on the tips to make them sparkle in the colored lights from the tree.
    I’m glad you survived the shopping trip. I went grocery shopping at the Korean market today and they had the whole music/decorations thing going, but there didn’t seem to be any more people there than usual.


    • December 5, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Hi Doug-so Sarah didn’t see the pine cones as an extra revenue source? I’m still not sure why I bought fake scented one instead of picking up the ones on the ground in my neighborhood. I suspect I’m afraid of bugs but how do I know the ones I bought don’t have them? It’s not like you can see them. Cinnamon scented bugs could be crawling all over my mantle right now. And also, we do buy a real tree, one that I’m pretty sure had a live bat one year, so kind or crazy to be worrying about microscopic pine cone bugs when you might end up with a bat infestation. I could have spray painted the neighborhood pinecones-that might have chased away the bugs. I’ve done it to vines and branches before. I’ll have to remember that for next year. And yes, you see? Where are the people? It’s like actual shopping is so retro.


  7. December 5, 2017 at 2:50 am

    That is indeed a good looking mantle! I think you are nailing this mantle decorating thing. I have two vintage metallic reindeer that figure prominently (as they can at about 6-9 inches) in the holiday decs. They’re not particularly well placed this year though, one on either side of a poinsettia that was a total impulse buy. But they seem cool with it.


    • December 5, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Paulette-that’s what I love about reindeer. They are cool with almost anything except hunting season. Is that over yet?


  8. December 5, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I loved this post. Your decorations are superb and I’m glad you came through the 5th circle (wrath?) of Hell unscathed. Composure like that would meet Dante’s approval and the experience Styx in one’s mind. Yule never regret it –I should stop now.


    • December 5, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      Geo…you do not miss a single beat ever. Shopping wrath is the worst. This comment has me wreathed in smiles and will tide me over through the new year.


  9. December 6, 2017 at 8:11 am

    It’s beautiful. I’ve seen those deer and thought about them myself. They are very cool. I kind of like the minimalist look. I’d leave it as is. Less is more and all that.


    • December 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Bella-these two came from At Home, but I’m sure they are other places, too. Pier 1 had a bunch. I also got a pretty one at Michael’s for the table centerpiece. That’s the only decorating I really do-the mantle and a holiday dinner table.

      Liked by 1 person

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