Vail Daily column: Preparing for procrastination

Richard Carnes
My View

Two weeks from tomorrow is Christmas Eve.

“Well duh, genius, thanks for the heads up.”

I didn’t mean it that way, smart aleck, just a subtle reminder for those of us who annually wait until the last minute to even think about the possibility of maybe going shopping sooner or later one of these days.

“Mine’s all done, and for the record you just avoided all pretense involving the word ‘subtlety.’”

Well, goody-goody for you. Seriously, I mean that (no, I really don’t). I’ve at least thought about buying a bunch of stuff since last Christmas, and then thought about it some more while eating heart-shaped chocolates on Valentine’s Day, traveling to ski races in the spring, golfing on Memorial weekend, marching in the Fourth of July parade (Lawn Chair Team), golfing on Labor Day weekend, toasting a frosty one during Oktoberfest (after golf), dancing at the Halloween party, watching results on election night and, briefly, while stuffing my face at Thanksgiving.

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“You haven’t purchase a single thing, have you?”

Wow, nothing slips past you.

“So what are you gonna do, hop online and start buying as much as you can today?”

Of course not, that’s the easy way out. First I’m going to look at all the crap I received last year but never opened on the off chance that some handy-dandy little item of non-importance and utter improbable use (such as my Hillary Clinton “celebrity” Nutcracker) might suddenly become practical in the hands of some chump on my list.

“You mean a friend or family member on your list?”

Yes. Wait, what did I say?

“You said chu — ”

Never mind, that’s not important. As long as I follow the rest of the generally accepted gift-buying rules not much can go wrong.

“Such as?”

Understand that these don’t just apply to me, but to begin with, if the gift is for a female that you have “had relations” with or wish to do so, no matter what you buy, it will be right. If the gift is for a wife (current), no matter what you buy, it will be wrong. Like a morning-after liberal a few weeks ago, deal with it, accept it and move on.

“Sounds like good, yet gender-specific, advice.”

Hey, I’m a guy, I’ve never pretended to understand views from the other side of the bed. Anyway, spending more money on one individual than you would consider spending for yourself is not only foolish, but selfish, in a capitalistic society. Where would our economy be if we failed to think of ourselves first? Buy for yourself up front, not taking the frivolous chance that anyone will remember to get you what you really want (and deserve), and then use the remaining funds to consider purchasing whatever silly little thing they might want.

“You give out $1 lottery tickets as gifts, don’t you?”

What are you implying?

“That you probably wrap them, too … ”

Look, I am not a superficial selfish Grinch when it comes to Christmas. I’ll have you know for years now I’ve always been the first one on the block to flip the switch for our giant Christmas wreath on the back patio.

“Put it up early, do you?”

Actually, I just never take it down. It’s been hanging in the same spot since 2005.

“Doesn’t your — ”

Yes, my wife hates that.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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