Friday, June 25, 2021

Life & Style


When I go Christmas shopping, I find more things for myself than for anyone else. I know this is selfish, but it’s the way it goes. I like a lot of things.

In my favorite shop there are lovely things for me and even for some people on my Christmas-buy list. Everybody wins. In a back room there’s a stuffed gorilla with a jaunty red Santa hat on his head. I don’t need him and no one on my list needs him. So I don’t buy him even though he’s silly and cute and I like him. I’m thinking he definitely should go to a little kid, a kid who will sit with him in front of the TV all through the year and not put him away with the rest of the Christmas decorations.

After New Year’s Day my Christmas decorations are still up. I should be taking them down. Instead, I’m out and about scooping up post-holiday bargains.

Or maybe not.

My intention is to scoop up bargains, but things aren’t working out. I’d like to think someone has infiltrated the shop with a devious shrinking ray, but I know this isn’t true. My dairy food choices the past month have mostly included cream cheese, blue cheese, and sour cream. Dessert has become dinner as well as dessert. Should we talk about in-between meal snacks of candy, cookies, and seven-layer Mexican dip? No, we should not.

I feel like that podgy Santa gorilla I saw a few weeks ago at this very same shop. I know if the gorilla is still here, he’s in the other room. I don’t know why I’m concerned about him, but I am. I don’t want to go in and see that he’s still there in his bright red hat, unclaimed. Unloved. That would be too sad.

I try on jeans and ponder about the change in clothing sizes. They should label things honestly after the holidays so at least you know what you’re in for when you try things on. The tags for my usual size should now read things like, “Not Gonna Work No How,” “Wishful Thinking,” or “No Friggin’ Way.” I pull off the size-“Dream On” jeans I can’t fully zip up and roll my eyes. This too shall pass. I’ll get my exercise and burn calories off by hauling my Christmas bins into the attic when I finally decide to take my decorations down.

Maybe it’s time to try on ponchos instead. Warm, cozy, forgiving ponchos.

I browse in a lazy daze around the main room of the store, picking up items, glancing at them, putting them back. If I find nothing, that’s okay. It’s a languid winter afternoon and I have no place I need to go. I think about the holidays and the frantic getting-readiness of it all. Lots of prep and planning and then it’s over in a flash. Isn’t that always the way it goes? I think about how I want to pack up my decorations so that they’re better organized than when I unpacked them. Will I get a move on that when I get home or will I curl up under blankets with a book and fall asleep after reading two pages? I know what I should do, but I also know what I will do.

It’s time to hit up the back room of the store and see what’s there. I don’t want or need anything, but I’ll look anyway because there’s one item in particular that I’m hoping has found a home. I smile when I realize that the Santa gorilla is gone.

The holiday pounds will stay for a while, but who cares? The gorilla is gone and it’s a new year. Plenty of time for “Dream On” jeans. I leave the store and head home. Plenty of time for a long winter’s nap.

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2017 Independent Press Awards, Humor Category and winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at

Juliana Gribbins is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Juliana at .

Reader Comments