I'm no hero...but I kinda am.
I'll be the first to admit that most holidays I fall behind. Last minute tree picking, decorating and present shopping have been my personal traditions for God knows how long. But not this year.
This year, I broke the cycle.
Saturday morning I woke up with two goals in mind, 1) to get all my Christmas shopping done and 2) to not step foot inside a crowded mall. It was also Small Business Saturday, so I also wanted to attempt to buy all my gifts at local businesses — avoiding crowds altogether. Being the responsible, organized person I am, I knew I could handle it.
Spoiler alert: if I could ever handle anything, I wouldn't have a column.
Not wanting to backtrack, I came up with a map in my head (mistake #1) starting with the shops closest to the beach and working my way back down Granada. I first stopped by Gaslamp Gift Gallery to tell Kristin of my master plan. Being the supportive big sister I've never had, she wished me luck — after joining me for a Port Wine and Pancake tasting at Bon Gourmet.
Having two or four samplings of wine at 10:17 a.m. might have been mistake #2.
After grabbing some gifts at Gaslamp (and having them professionally wrapped by Kristin because I have yet to master the art of tying bows), I bounced around beachside, making at least seven U-turns because unsurprisingly the map I made in my head was very off.
Around 1 p.m. things started to get sleepy. As it turns out, wine has the opposite effect of a latte. Already spending too much money on other people (I'm such a good person), I resorted to the sugar cookies left out by True Love Boutique. It's socially acceptable to snag a few for later, right?
I stumbled back into Gaslamp to give Kristin an update and pick up one more item that I had forgotten to buy.
"You look tired," she said sympathetically after offering me a marshmallow. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to the crash from this four-hour long sugar rush.
In my mind, I had five stops left before I was done. Always one to overdo it — and then regret overdoing it — I slowly nixed a few difficult ideas, made some simple adjustments and went to just one more store.
Seven hours, five sugar cookies, a half of an old bagel, 15 U-turns, and one car nap later, I was home. My body felt defeated, but inside I was victorious. Because for the first time in my entire life, I had beat Christmas.
Now hopefully Kristin will agree to wrap the rest of my presents.