(Reprinted with permission from the places that pay me.)
Skip the fancy jewelry, fur coats, and dishwashers that do everything. Let’s be realistic and talk about what we all REALLY want for Christmas…which is a parking spot at the mall.
Let’s face it. Each year we spend hundreds of miserable hours driving round and round suburban parking lots, in sub-zero weather, during blinding snow storms, looking for a place to park the family car. This is so we can fight our way into the crowded, outrageously noisy department stores, to buy obscenely overpriced gifts for people who don’t need them.
Who started this practice??
But you have to do it in order to get into the ‘Christmas Spirit,’ which is an essential part of the holiday tradition. Christmas Spirit is evident in parking lots all over the world. It begins something like this:
Having arrived at the mall, you spend the first twenty minutes driving up and down the parking lot, taking advice from every occupant in your car about where they ‘think they saw an opening.’ Then your spouse – whom you are beginning to hate – gets the bright idea of hovering like a vulture at the mall exit, and following someone back to their car. At which point you find that there are four other clever drivers attempting to do the same thing.
You then engage in the time honoured game of ‘parking lot chicken’ to see who gets to the vacant spot first. The spot, of course, isn’t available anyway, as the shopper exiting the mall only did so to dump a load of shopping off at the car before going back into the trenches. I’m convinced that some despicable people sneak into suburban parking lots in the middle of the night, leave their cars in prime spots, and bum a ride back the next day. It’s the suburban equivalent of lining up for rock concerts.
Meanwhile, back at the parking lineup, three of the four cars formerly involved in playing chicken are now racing back to the mall entrance to annex another exiting individual. By now, the windows are down, the drivers are yelling obscenities along the lines of ‘Get your own damned shopper!” and threatening to beat each other to the consistency of plum pudding.
By now, if you are not in the true spirit of Christmas, I suggest the following: Go home, take an extremely large glass and fill it with equal parts eggnog and rum. Drink quickly. Refill Liberally. Repeat. This is the alternative practice of ‘getting into the Christmas Spirits.’