April Jeppson: Do you buy your Christmas presents early?

Published 8:45 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

There’s this game I play with myself every year. It’s not my favorite game, but yet somehow, I end up doing it every December. Here’s how the game works.

April Jeppson

I do some Christmas shopping throughout the year. Come Black Friday, I do 80% of it. I feel confident and on the ball. I’m winning at life. Then I move on and don’t really think about Christmas shopping for a bit. Then somewhere between the 10th and 23rd of December it hits me. Oh, my goodness, I have no idea what I’ve purchased.

One year I waited too long. It was Christmas Eve and my husband, and I were wrapping gifts and setting out the presents for the next day. I had ordered a Darth Vader costume for my 6-year-old weeks ago and was finally going through the package. The order was supposed to contain a black jumpsuit, black gloves and the quintessential helmet. So, imagine my surprise when there was only a jumpsuit. I’m not sure how familiar you are with Star Wars, but the helmet is kind of a big deal.

My eyes widened as panic started to spread over me. Was Walmart still open? Did I have any items around the house that I could glue or paint so that I could craft one fast? What in the world was I going to do? The worst part? This gift was coming from the big guy. If I didn’t deliver, then that part of the holiday fun would be gone. My son was still young, I had to keep the magic alive.

After much thought and discussion, we had a solution that I hoped would work. In the morning the children woke to find their presents. My son also had a letter next to his gifts. It simply stated that the elves hadn’t finished the helmet yet and it would arrive as soon as they were done making it. My son, being logical, thought it made perfect sense. The helmet being the most intricate part of the costume and all, it obviously would take longer to build. My husband and I secretly high-fived each other, and I vowed to never wait that long again to make sure all the presents were in order.

So here I am, realizing that this weekend I must go through all the presents and figure things out. I need to organize them by person. Look at the quantity. Did one child get way more gifts than the others? Do I need to buy more socks or hair ties to even out the playing field? I was looking for a cardigan this morning, and I found a present that I purchased this summer. That’s what spurred on this entire thought process. How many other presents did I buy months ago that I have hidden away?

As I get older and gain more experiences, I am getting better at this “game” I play every year. I’m sure this will be something I do forever and I’m OK with that. As an eternal optimist, I can’t help but see the bright side of all situations. I’m truly happy that I have money to buy gifts and friends and family to give them to.

Life is good — and check those Amazon boxes friends, before it’s too late.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.