Color Me Christmas

“Shay!  Wow, you’re doing a lot of last minute shopping.” My daughter’s teacher said with a smile as she eyed my full basket at the mall.

“Oh, I finished shopping for everyone else.  Those are for me.” I said, before I realized I had forgotten to send in a teacher gift for this teacher.

I quickly grabbed a blouse off the rack to change the subject.

“This is nice. Don’t you think?” I asked holding it up.

“For you?” she asked.

“It’s not really me, is it?” I agreed putting back the crop top, then spotted an adorable sweater with puppies playing in the snow.  Or were they baby seals?

“What do you think of this?” I asked.

“I like the one next to it, without the bears.” She said, taking it off the rack.

“Bears? Oh, those are bears, aren’t they?”

“I hope my husband bought this one for me. I gave him so many hints, but he never seems to pick up on them.” She laughed.

“You should do what I do.” I said.  “I buy gifts for myself, wrap them and put them under the tree and on Christmas Day everyone is surprised to see what I got!”

“That’s, uh…” She stammered.

“Brilliant! I know, right?” I said, agreeing with her unspoken assessment.  “I wish I had thought of it when we first got married, it would have saved us both a lot of stress.”

“Which one of these do you like better, the green or the blue?” I asked holding up two sweaters.

“How many gifts do you generally buy for yourself?” she asked hesitantly.

“Just one from each family member.” I said disappointed.  “Oh, wait, this can be from Simon!” I said, realizing I had found a loophole.

“Simon?  Isn’t that your little dog?” she asked.

“No, Simon is the big one, the little one is – oh, good point –  one can be from the big dog, and one from the little dog!” I said excitedly adding both to my shopping cart.

“Well, that’s it for me.” I said with a satisfied smile.

Mrs. What’s Her Name looked at my overflowing shopping basket and rushed to get ahead of me at the check-out,  tossing an unconvincing “Merry Christmas” over her shoulder.

In my defense, department store baskets are way smaller than grocery carts.