Writer’s Block: Last Minute Shopping

By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com

There are less than 10 days until Christmas and I haven’t finished my shopping yet.

I should probably start panicking soon, except this is something that happens every year. I’m a horrible procrastinator when it comes to gift shopping.

There are others in my family who would win medals for gift-giving if gift-giving was an Olympic sport. My sister’s attention to detail, for instance, is rivaled by none. The packaging becomes high art, her gifts so beautifully presented you hardly want to open them. She takes care to line up the seams of the wrapping paper, with never a strip of tape visible to mar the pattern. If there are multiple gifts, each will be wrapped in a different, yet complementary pattern. Silk ribbons wrap around the parcels, culminating in elaborate, hand-crafted bows set just so. One year, the to/from cards she included with the gifts were dual purpose – cleverly designed envelopes that contained wildflower seeds inside. Another year, hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments — angels with trumpets or outspread wings — sat nestled as centerpieces in the bows.

For my sister, coming up with the perfect presentation is as much a part of the gift as the contents within the package. For my mom, planning ahead is the key to the Christmas season.

Mom has always been a planner. For as long as I can remember, she has begun whittling away on her shopping list months before stores begin displaying Christmas trees or playing holiday music over the loudspeakers. Like the hardworking ant in the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, she will work steadily every year to begin putting away gifts she thinks her loved ones will enjoy come Dec. 25. And in true motherly fashion, her gifts are often practical – things that can be put to immediate and long term use. She never neglects to throw in at least one gift ‘just-because,’ though.

I tend to wait until the last minute to wrap gifts, snuggling them under the tree wherever there’s space among the pile just moments before the family gathers around with mugs of hot chocolate ready to rip the wrapping to ribbons.

Everyone has a different approach to gifts, from shopping, to wrapping, to opening. No matter your style, though, the one thing everyone has in common is trying to figure out just what makes the perfect gift for our loved ones. If your family is anything like mine, then you’ll know that some people are easier to shop for than others. And with so few days left before Christmas, the challenge seems all the more difficult. Fortunately for us, there are plenty of unique gifts available both in the shops at the Port Isabel Light House Square, and across South Padre Island. And don’t forget, the Port Isabel Antique Flea Market takes place this weekend at Beulah Lee Park. There’s sure to be a present for every person on your list. And don’t forget to visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.

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