Christmas is coming earlier this year. At least, that’s what the retailers would have us believe.
It seems like parents were still shopping for their children’s Halloween costumes when merchants swooped in, pushed the spooky stuff aside and began decking the shelves with boughs of holly.
To my dismay, a friend of mine even started playing Christmas music on Halloween day.
But while fighting every premature “Jingle Bells” that came my way, it soon became clear that I was making a futile attempt to stave off the inevitable.
So, breaking with tradition, I headed out last weekend to do something I’d never done before:arly Christmas shopping. And the first person on my list was the most difficult to buy for: my brother.
Jeff and I are in the middle of a lifelong rivalry, a unending round of “one-upsmanship.” What further complicates matters is that we are obviously cut from the same cloth. We live on opposite sides of the country, but have often found ourselves buying the same clothes, reading the same books and watching the same movies at exactly the same time.
Since our brains are somehow psychically linked, surprising each other with that unexpected gift presents a bit of a problem. We often go for that new and improved power tool, some exciting new kitchen gizmo, or Hollywood’s latest video blockbusters.
This year, however, I found the perfect gift for my brother, and I didn’t have to drive to Phoenix or shop the Internet to get it. It was obtained right here at home, straight from the shelf of one of Arizona Rim Country’s merry merchants.
Within this issue of the Roundup you will find the Hometown Holiday Shopping Guide a special section that works like a unexpected-treasure map of the Rim country. It will introduce you to local merchants who stock everything you’ll need, from diamonds to dreamcatchers, for the loved ones on your list. And you won’t have to fight crowds, waste tanks of gas or throw away countless hours of precious holiday time to acquire them.
Because Jeff reads this newspaper, I cannot reveal what I found for him. But here’s a hint: I was led to it by page 15 of the Hometown Holiday Shopping Guide.