Effects of Christmas still being felt

By Karl Terry: Freedom New Mexico columnist

These days the Christmas season lasts well into January for some of us.

Once upon a time, all I had to look forward to after Christmas was one day exchanging the shirts I’d received as gifts for shirts of the right size or color. Today I have those typical exchanges along with purchases to make with the gift cards received. I also received one present Friday that was delayed in shipping.

I’m still tracking what happened to one of my wife’s gifts that was lost in shipping and I have a couple of items that still need to be assembled and tried out. It takes time to get to everything and, besides, it serves to prolong the season’s cheer.

I always felt bad about taking something back and exchanging it for something completely different until the year I received what has become known as the Mafia shirt. I won’t reveal here which relative gave me this shirt. It’ll be more fun knowing my family will sit around and try to figure out if it was their gift.

I received the Mafia shirt many years ago and it was a real sight. In my mind I remember the shirt as a fuschia color with a nice purple collar. Bright shirts with different colored collars were all the rage on shows like “Miami Vice.” My wardrobe was ahead of its time, though, and tended toward the Al Borland plaid and flannel look made popular on “Tool Time.”

I profusely thanked the giver of the Mafia shirt for such a wonderful gift, and such a bright color. Later that holiday, my wife made me take the shirt out of the box again so she could release the suppressed outburst of laughter she had stored inside her gut. It looks like something a Mafia hitman would wear I exclaimed.

It had to go back, she agreed.

Look it probably won’t fit anyway, it’s just a medium, I said, trying to justify ridding myself of the shirt.

I normally don’t buy new clothes as often as I should so I like getting apparel for Christmas but I’ve never had a problem returning things since the year of the Mafia shirt. I’ve gone a little overboard from time to time, totally changing up what I received but it wasn’t too bad this year. I had three shirts that were the wrong size and I traded them for two shirts and one pair of pants. One of the shirts traded in was even the exact same pattern as the one I received originally.

Now as soon as I can talk my dear old mother into hemming the new pants I’ll be outfitted with clothes for work for awhile. I’ll try to have everything traded, altered and set up by April. I’ve got to, just in case I get a shirt or two for my birthday.

Karl Terry writes for Freedom New Mexico. Contact him at: karlterry@yucca.net