Because I'm Last-Minute-Shopping Mommy.
I ended up at Toys R Us on December 23rd fighting the other panicked parents for the last Barbie Dream House.
But it wasn't really my fault!
Okay, here's the whole sad story...
(image from http://ny.racked.com)
I had bought the older kids some books, video games, and DVD's from the school book fair and the electronic store by November 30th.
I had finished all my shopping for people out-of-town by the first of December and mailed it all by the second.
I had proposed a let's-don't-buy-gifts-for-each-other-this-year plan to my husband, which he leapt upon with relief.
I had ordered several toys and books online for the younger children by December tenth, qualifying for free delivery in plenty of time for Christmas.
I headed to a couple of specialty stores and a clothing store for the rest of the stuff for the kids, and finished all that by December 19th.
I confirmed with my husband that we really did make a no-gifts-for-each-other pact and that it was not a trick.
Then we hit a little snag in the checklist.
December 22nd, 11:30 p.m., just before falling asleep: I realized I hadn't received that package I'd ordered two weeks ago with most of the younger kids' stuff in it. I tried not to panic.
December 23rd, 8:00 a.m.: I looked at my inbox and couldn't find the confirmation-of-order email. I tried not to panic. I checked my online credit card statement and did not find a charge for that store. I tried not to panic.
I went on the website and began to try to track my package. When I logged in it said I had no open orders. I started to panic.
Then I looked up at the top of the screen where it said cheerily, "You have 15 items in your shopping basket!"
ACK! Time to panic! I realized I had apparently never placed the order! THERE WAS NO PACKAGE ON ITS WAY AT ALL!!!!!!
Now, I don't know what kind of moron I have to BE to do this. I distinctly remember placing this order. Really. I do.
But there was the evidence staring me in the face: that cute little virtual shopping cart was winking away at me, chanting, "Fifteen ITEMS never ORDERED! Fifteen ITEMS never ORDERED!"
Christmas was two days away and I had almost no presents for THREE of my kids!
(image from http://blog.cayadutta.com)
So what else could I do? I went to Toys R Us with all the other waited-until-the-last-minute moms and dads.
And of course, spent more than I should have in order to compensate.
Sigh. Maybe next year I'll have it together.
At least the pact held up: My husband got me nothing and I got him nothing. That's one expense avoided.