With Christmas pressures mounting, relief appears


So much to do.
Coastal Point •  Submitted

With a publication date of Friday, Dec. 14, that means that we are 11 days away from Christmas. Eleven days away from people opening presents that I have still not bought for them, let alone wrapped. Eleven days of battling through lines at every store in sight, suffering through tinny Christmas songs being piped through overmatched store speaker systems and running from one holiday gathering to the next. Eleven days of battling off exhaustion and holiday overload. Never has 11 days seemed so long and so short in one fell swoop.

Eleven days.

I started doing calculations in my head the other day regarding how I was going to prioritize my time to get everything done before the big day arrives. I figured in deadline days between the paper and our next fantastic issue of Going Green on Delmarva as lost causes, so that takes away five of those days. I have company coming in from out of town this weekend, so there are two more days, and family coming to town for the holidays, stripping away three more days. That leaves one day clear to take care of everything I need to do — Christmas.

Yeah, probably not going to get much accomplished that day, outside of drinking coffee and eating too much.

I figured I could knock out a bunch of my shopping during lunch breaks, keeping to my promise of trying to buy local and maximizing my time, in the process. There is still more to get, however, so I journeyed to the wilderness of the Internet with hopes that I could still buy those other items I needed and have them shipped in time for the big day.

Great idea, right?

Well, in theory. The problem I encountered was that shipping these items was often going to cost more than the item itself. That reality speaks of two elements. First, that it is entirely too expensive to ship anything in this country. And, second, I buy very cheap presents online that result in shipping costing more than the present itself.

It began to feel hopeless. I was sweating in anticipation of coming up short for Christmas, and the notion of a good night’s sleep was becoming a dream, which is ironic since I haven’t been able to fall asleep, which means a dream is not really possible, unless you consider the possibility of ...

But I digress.

However, as the old saying goes, it’s always darkest before the dawn. While I was sitting at my desk and watching my fingers tremble like I was freebasing coffee, it hit me. There was indeed relief heading my way, and it was going to make all my problems go away in the blink of an eye.

The end of days.

Though its authenticity, precise date and actual reality are all scrutinized and debated, the word on the street is that the Mayans predicted the world would be coming to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 — the winter solstice, and my free pass out of Christmas jail.

Look, I’m as skeptical as the next guy regarding this end-of-days talk. I have nothing against the Mayans, mind you, but when people take a look at their last cycle of their ancient calendar coming to an end this month as a sign that doomsday is upon us, I tend to sigh and shake my head at such nonsensical talk.

However, when you are treading water at sea with no help to be found, any floating object is a good floating object. So I wrapped my arms around this one.

“Knowing” that the world will be coming to an end four days before Christmas instantly made me feel taller. The weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders, and I could feel the tingling sensation of hair actually growing on my barren dome. Yes, Virginia, there is indeed a Santa Claus, and this year he is coming to me in the form of world destruction four days before Christmas.

Hooray!

My father always told me if you just keep your head down and keep working, things tend to work out in the end. He was right! My salvation is coming to me in the form of a fiery apocalypse, and I can toss away those napkins with gift ideas scribbled on them and just enjoy the rest of this wild ride without fear of coming up short on Christmas.

Just to be safe, I better sock away some of these beautiful Coastal Point 2013 calendars. Hey, our production department might just know more than the Mayans.