CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some of you will hate me for what I have to say, but stick with me a bit before you start calling me names.
I started my Christmas shopping.
Yep. September wasn't even half over before I put my first little checkmark next to a name on my list. And yep, I'm feeling all pious and smug about it.
It's my earliest ever. Most years I don't even have a list made up until pumpkins and candy corn have been marked down to half-price. Used to be I considered it against principle to shop until after Thanksgiving. But I'm older and wiser now, mindful of the outrageous prices I'll pay for those last-minute, that'll-have-to-be-good-enough gifts that I'm embarrassed to give.
The past few years, I've managed to get my act together just enough to order exactly one gift early. I've found that getting an early jump on the shopping can be downright intoxicating -- and the inebriation can be so potent it lingers until the shelves are picked bare, until nothing but the Steve Jobs Chia Heads and the least desirable Snuggi colors remain.
This year will be different. I not only have a list and a game plan, I've also programmed messages into my computer's calendar to periodically remind me whose gift I'm to find.
(While I was at it, I typed in a bunch of random compliments to myself, so I can be working away at my computer and a message will appear on my screen saying, "That's a really nice color on you" or "Have you lost weight?")
Hoping to inspire others to join in my quest to shop early and often this year, I thought I'd share a few gift ideas I ran across that might work for those friends and family members who are especially difficult to shop for.
For instance, who doesn't have at least one pickle enthusiast on their shopping list? At PerpetualKid.com, you can purchase a six-pack of Bob's Pickle Pops frozen pickle treats for just $6.99.
According to the item description, "Each pickle is squeezed right down to the skin and then the brine and pickle guts get liquefied and made into one heck of a tasty treat."
And only 6 calories per pop!