Here's the truth: It's the only time of the year when the entire world shops the way I do all year long. And, even better, the stores are along for the ride - coupon specials every day! Stores open till midnight! Extra store clerks everywhere you look! It's a shopaholics paradise.
I used to work in downtown Phoenix and got stuck in huge traffic jams driving on my way to work every day. What amazed me was that right when all of us downtown workers were heading to our jobs every morning during rush hour, there'd be all these people who had no business being on the road - like tourists or retired people - during rush hour too, just clogging the place up. That's how I feel sometimes, being a Jew shopping after Hanukkah's over with the Christmas shoppers. Shouldn't I really stay home and stay out of their way? Why am I enjoying the ambience of the frenzied shoppers when I really have no business being out there?
Here's the secret about this midnight pre-Christmas shopping: there's actually no one in the stores. Well, there's me and the store clerks all restocking for the shopping bonanzas of the next day. At least in Phoenix - and I've tested this quite a few times now - the idea that the stores are staying open for throngs of shoppers to stay in there is a misconception. There's only me, really.
I can always find a legitimate reason to be in there. This week it's kind of important: snow gear for the family to head up to Flagstaff for our annual jaunt out of town when Husband closes our store. So I need to be shopping, really. And, other than the midnight shopping, I really need to be out there with everyone running amuck, with all my awesome coupons clutched in my hand, all the lines stretched out before me.
And, no, I don't need a gift receipt. Or a box.