Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Day After Christmas-No Rush!

Many talk about the Day After Christmas chaos-people in long lines to return unwanted gifts, using gift cards, or taking in the post-holiday sales. I decided to avoid as much of that as possible.

Since I had the day off, I used the time to do a few chores, read several chapters in a John Grishom novel, and research some information for a homeschooling story. Russ and I went out for Mexican food at lunchtime-a needful bodily requirement on a weekly basis or we have withdrawal symptoms! I did venture out to Target to hit the sales, but that was all I wanted of the madhouse Dec. 26th experience-best of all-I was first in line at the check-out!

When Russ got off of work, we went to the Family Christian Bookstore to use a gift card and buy a few things on sale (books and CDs). We also picked up a devotional to do as a couple-one of our New Year's goals. It is written by Elmer Towns, entitled "365 Ways to Know God." Then, we selected a few DVDs to rent at our local video store, and headed for home.

Odd, but most shows on TV this week are re-runs, and we really just want to crash when we get home, so we rented some movies. Last night we watched Hide-And-Seek, a psychological thriller with two of my favorite actors, Bobby Deniro and Dakota Fanning. It started slow, because it was dropping several clues as well as providing some rabbit chases for our minds, before setting up the plot and revealing the climax. There were actually 4 alternate endings provided, but we liked the one on the theatrical performance the best (I guess those test-audiences really do work!).

I slept quite well, but Russ dreamt fitfully and even woke up as the clock clicked from 2:05 to 2:06 a.m., just like the movie did several times. He said it was a bit freaky (if I am to believe him, but he didn't seem to be pulling my leg, and I can usually tell when he is). I am usually the dreamer of weird dreams in our home, but mine are not caused by movies but rather triggered by real life events. My mind can somehow sort fact from fiction pretty well!

'Tis the season to put away Christmas decorations, re-introduce healthy food to our digestive tracts, and set goals for the new year!

1 comment:

wade said...

It’s funny how the day-after-Christmas sales thing as developed. As a child, I’m not sure any of the downtown retailers in Louisiana did such a thing. Even after Wal-Mart came, I wasn’t really aware of any sales. In fact, I don’t think I really knew about it until reading a newspaper article about 12 years ago! Wait…I do remember when I worked for Wal-Mart in college (the first time) in 1984-6, that lots of people came the day after Christmas, but it was mostly to return items that didn’t work or exchange for clothes of a different size, etc. So, the returns/customer service desk was really busy, and there was a lot of traffic in the store, but I don’t remember any special promotions. I’m sure Christmas decorations and cards went on sale, but I can’t recall anything else. The last time I was in the U.S. for Christmas, in 2001 (?), I made a point of going to the Supercenter in Paris to get Christmas cards, since the only ones here in Japan are super nice and super expensive, about $3 each. I bought about 10 boxes of Christmas cards that day for about $3 each I think. They should last me another three years or so. Guess I’ll have to make another Christmas trip to the States when they run out LOL.

The gift cards are new to me, too. Again, it is only thanks to the newspaper that I have heard of their popularity as Christmas presents! (One of the newspapers here, The Daily Yomiuri, has articles from three or four different U.S. newspapers.) I read that they make up something like 25% of the value of presents now?!

I guess gift certificates have been around for quite some time, but I don’t think people used them much for Christmas presents. I think in the past, people looked down on money or things like gift certificates as presents. To be honest, I kind of feel that way now, but probably if I had lived in the U.S. the past ten years instead of Japan, and was gradually introduced to the new custom of gift cards, I would warm up to it. I don’t know, I just think a present that one picks for someone based on what that person “thinks” the other person would like is best, even if that means you don’t quite get it right now and then. Money, or gift cards, just seem too…easy. How much thought does it take to give someone a gift card? Zero! Yeah, I know, that’s the beauty of gift cards…but it is a beauty of convenience rather than anything else.

Sorry, I don’t know a Bobby Deniro…Is he related to Robert DeNiro? ;) Just kidding. He is one of my all-time favorite actors; I know he is on many people’s list of top actors. I know Tom Hanks gets a lot of awards now, but to me, when I see a Tom Hanks movie, any scene he appears in, I think of him as Tom Hanks! Whereas, with DeNiro and some other actors, like Nicholas Cage or Johnny Depp even, I immediately think of them in terms of the character they are portraying. Anyway, I’ll have to see if Hide-and-Seek is on DVD rental here, or will be on our satellite movie channels soon.

You mentioned jokingly that it is the season to take down Christmas decorations. That got my attention because every year when I say a few words about Christmas, I either mention or students ask about when Christmas trees are put up and when they are taken down. I always qualify my answer with “this is how my family did it, and this is what I perceive as “average””, and then I tell them the two ranges of dates. I guess the average or normal range is from about a week or so before Christmas to a day or two after New Year’s Day.