Uh, uh. Not so fast. I know. I know. The last of the torn bits of Christmas wrap have finally been vacuumed away. The rings left on tables, by damp glasses, are all wiped up. The turkey’s just about gone, but the soup’s done; and ready for enjoying. Smelled good, too, as it was boiling away last night, if you say so yourself.
Now you’re starting to ‘consolidate’ all the left over baked goods, into fewer tins. Not a moment too soon, because your jeans are already too tight at the waist.
The dog’s so exhausted he’s fast asleep on your favourite chair, his new rawhide bone laying, discarded, beside him. The man of the house is snoring away on the couch. The kids are off skating or reading or playing with some of their new toys. Or maybe their old ones. You can never tell with kids. Old and forgotten one minute, a favourite again the next.
The good news is, they’re quiet. They’re not fighting with each other. Yet. And you’re sighing with relief. Because Christmas is over. Not that you don’t love it. You do. But it is a helluva lot of work. And always a mad scramble, at the end.
You are getting ahead of yourself, though. There is another ‘tradition’ left to deal with:
THE BOXING DAY SALE.
You want to talk about a mad scramble? OMG! Not really that much different from Black Friday (Thanksgiving sale ‘event’ in the U.S.), when you think about it. For some reason, though, Boxing Day Sales just seem worse to me. Maybe it’s because we’re already completely worn out from all the Christmas tra la la, and we’re just operating on fumes.
I’ve never been a fan, to be honest. It’s not that I don’t love a bargain. I do. It’s the crowds that turn me off. I am no good in crowds. The pushing. The shoving. The grabbing. The elbowing. The lines. The endless lines. The short tempers. Mine included, by the by.
The heat! It gets hot in those stores, let me tell you. And there you are, in a coat, a sweater, a hat, gloves, warm socks, boots. Sweating. Because it’s cold outside, dammit! So you’re dressed for the cold. If you’re like me, by then you’re also cursing. Yourself. For being there. For doing it to yourself again. Especially after you promised yourself, last year, you’d never do it again.
Have you ever seen photos of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain? It’s part of a festival, where bulls are let loose to run through sectioned-off areas of a town. And where a bunch of men are insane enough to risk life and limb to run with them. Testosterone. What can I say? I don’t get it, either.
Well, that’s what going to Boxing Day Sales feels like to me. And I’ll bet it feels that way to the poor sods who pick the short straws, and end up working on Boxing Day.
Honestly, I haven’t gone that often. Years and years and years ago I went with a friend, her mom, her sister-in-law and one of her sisters. Among other things, they were also stocking up on cards and wrap for the following year. So being the good little Christmas-loving Jewish girl I am, I did what they did. The next year I couldn’t find where I’d stored it all. Had to buy everything, all over again.
About ten or fifteen years ago, before my mother moved here, she was visiting for Christmas. A colleague was waxing poetic about all the great deals she always found at one of our uber luxury retailers, Holt Renfrew. My mother and I decided it was worth a try. When we got there, at 10:00 a.m., the lines of people waiting for the doors to open, were blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks long.
We didn’t even have to say anything to each other. We turned around, had a coffee and went home. And that was it for me.
Not interested. Not going. No way. Don’t look for me, because I won’t be there. If you want to tell me about all the great ‘stuff’ you got, and how little you paid for it, and how triumphant you feel, I am very happy to listen. Crow all you want. I won’t be jealous, I promise.
Don’t, however, bitch and moan and whine and complain about how awful it was. Do not. Because you know what I’m going to do. Oh, yes you do. And you won’t like it. And then you’ll get cranky. And who needs that. So do us all a favour, and keep it to yourself.
Otherwise I promise, I will look you straight in the eye and, in the most supercilious tone I can muster, I will say: I TOLD YOU SO.