Why In the H*$# Did I Take My Kids Christmas Shopping With Me?

Here’s more evidence that I’m not a smart man — I took my children Christmas shopping with me on a recent Saturday.

For your enjoyment, have a peek at a timeline of our adventures:

12:02 pm: I mention to my kids that I want them to go Christmas shopping with me. They react like winners of a multi-million dollar lottery, believing that I’m going to buy them enough toys to fill Santa’s sleigh.

12:09 pm: I finally get the kids to realize that I’m buying gifts for their mother, grandparents and other family members. They refuse to go.

12:11 pm: A meeting of the United Nations is convened and a compromise is negotiated. If the boys behave themselves for 90 minutes of shopping, they can each pick out one toy. Said toy will cost $12.95 or less. The final settlement is approval and ratified by a majority of the United Nations member states.

12:19 pm: Both boys choose 7 toys to take with them while we shop. I figure that each will come home with at least 5 of those toys.

12:38 pm: We arrive at the mall. The boys complain about how far we have to walk, why we have to shop and how everyone else is buying toys.

12:40 pm:  At Target, 3 refuses to sit in the cart. 5 will only sit in the large section of the cart. I’m wishing I could sit in the cart and have them push me.

12:43 pm: Both boys demand popcorn and refuse to move forward without it.

12:45 pm: “Dad, can we look at toys?” “No.”

12:47 pm: In the greeting card section, the boys demand to open every card that plays a song. Within seconds, the “Star Wars” theme is on repeat for everyone to enjoy.

12:51 pm: “Dad, can we look at toys?” “No.”

12:53 pm: I notice that 3 is leaving a trail of popcorn throughout each section of the store. At least we’ll be able to retrace our steps.

12:57 pm: While looking at clothes, the boys hide in the racks of clothes. Target security is enlisted to help me find them.

1:04 pm: “Dad, can we look at toys?” “No.”

1:06 pm: 3 knocks over a glass bowl on a display case. With an amazing display or reflexes and timing and Derek Jeter-esque grace, I bobble and catch the bowl with one hand and prevent a catastrophe — both literal and financial.

1:12 pm: I have placed exactly 4 items in my cart — none of which are gifts for anyone other than myself.

1:16 pm: Desperate to at least fill my wife’s stocking, I race to the women’s section. I pick out one of each hair tie, hair band, shampoo, face wash and lip gloss and call it done.

1:20 pm: “Dad, can we look at toys?” “No.”

1:22 pm: Each time I try to make it through an aisle, there is at least one item with a cartoon character on it. That sets off a several minute discussion on said item, why we should buy it and how “cool” it is.

1:26 pm: With 15 items in my cart — most of snacks for me and the kids, I decide to make it a gift card Christmas. Gift cards for Mom. Gift cards for Dad. Gift cards for everyone on my list!

1:33 pm: The boys remind me of our agreement and inform me that if I renege, they will contact The Hague. We journey to the toy aisle where I “encourage” them to pick out a toy quickly.

1:37 pm: 3 wants a Talking Yoda. Retail price: $149.99. 5 wants a drone. Retail price $169.99. I threaten to leave them in the store overnight by themselves. They think that sounds like fun.

1:43 pm: We head to the checkout line with a batch of gift cards, enough women’s toiletries to get my wife through a calendar year and many snacks to fatten me up. Plus, exactly $25 worth of toys. I consider it a successful shopping mission.

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The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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