It was 1978 and I was in seminary and royally broke. After classes were over for the semester December 15, I babysat for a senior citizen in home hospice until December 23, but the family had not paid me yet.
Late Christmas Eve the mailman appeared like a snow angel and I received a Christmas Money Card from a friend.
Now I faced a second problem. I knew everything I wanted to give everyone on my Christmas list, but by now all the stores were closed.
I drove the streets looking for even a restaurant open where I could buy gift cards (back then they were hand written and called gift certificates), but all lights were out except at gas stations. (For some additional retro history, back in the late 1970's gas stations did not have mini-stores attached to them.)
Then ahead of me a cluster of brilliant sparkling lights shone brightly. It was heaven. It was 7-Eleven.
I stepped on the gas and slammed harder than I needed to on the brake, after parking sloppy sideways in the lot, fearing that they might close at 11:00 Pm. It was 10:55 Pm.
"Nope, open 24 hours. What's wrong? Do you need something in particular?"
"I am looking for everything."
After looking up and down each small aisle three times, I brought to the counter a stapler and a thingy to take snow off the car window for my dad, all my sisters got beauty magazines and chocolate (I was hoping they would share with me), but I could not find a gift for my mom.
Even after circling the store one more time, I could not find anything for my mom. Then backward in the store window, I read, "We Sell U.S. Postage Stamps."
"Do you have any stamps left?" I excitedly asked. I knew my mom liked stamps even more than me and I loved them.
"Yep." This store clerk was a one word kind of guy.
Since my family thought they were getting nothing from me, they were crazy happy Christmas morning with their "wanna-be gifts, especially when they heard my funny but sincere shopping story."
Today for you, PROCRASTINATION finally pays off and royally!
Still have people to buy for on your Christmas List?
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