Depending on what time you read this there are 1,123,200 seconds until Christmas -- or 13 days.
If you're me and shopping for brothers, mom, dad, son, daughter, cousins, aunts, husband and friends, each of these seconds count.
So far this year I've done most of my shopping on wishful thinking. Somehow it hasn't worked very well.
It's kinda like my house renovations. I keep hoping they'll get done, but somehow unless I get off my butt I don't think much is going to happen.
I've been in a quandary this year on what to buy for people. I love shopping, even if I can't spend much. The problem is that it's so easy to shop for myself, or my mom and daughter and not so easy to shop for my brothers and my dad.
It's a running joke with my dad that he gets handkerchiefs and socks for Christmas, but let's be real. He only has one nose and two feet and, well, I'm 36. Pop must be drowning in socks by now.
On Tuesday, I ventured out for some last-minute shopping. It was last minute because the store closed at 9 p.m. and I walked in the door at 8:45 p.m. I managed in those 900 seconds to find gifts for four of my family members and catch the last minutes of the big sale.
Between now and Christmas if I took advantage of all those 900-second intervals to shop I could find 312 gifts. If I worked at it I could take care of three Christmases in the next 13 days. Wow!
I may have to scale back to 300 gifts to allow for calls of nature and eating. Enough caffeine and sugar and maybe I won't have to sleep. Fortunately we live in Nevada where many stores are open 24 hours a day.
I managed in fewer than 1,000 seconds because I shopped the ads first and went in with a purpose on a mission. And despite the fact that I took a short detour through the clothing section (didn't find anything I couldn't live without) managed in mere minutes to get something done.
Seriously, though, I struggle with Christmas every year. It is hard to decide what to buy. This year I had an idea that I would make presents for my family, that somehow the act of creation would give the materialistic side of Christmas more meaning.
But life keeps getting in the way. Let's face it, I'm so far behind in the Christmas race I don't have a tree yet and despite the fact that the lights on my house are up year 'round they aren't on yet.
The lights are a bit complicated at home. They're up but somehow or other the bulbs get broken during the year and need to be replaced. The replacement bulbs are in with the Christmas decorations, which don't get pulled down out of the attic until we have a tree. It's just a vicious circle.
What I'm finding out as I get older, as the children grow up and as my hair goes gray, is that Christmas is about time. God figured out it was about time for a savior 2002 years ago. Thank God I won't be around anywhere near that long. As these holidays would kill me!
I for one would like time for Christmas.
Time to reflect, relax and regroup.
Time to play with the dog. Time to play with the kids. Time to hang out with my mom and dad.
Time to get a tan, get skinny and get ready for the Fourth of July. For that is where my clock still is.
Whether it's age catching up with me or my profession, time is flying by.
The experts say we must make time for the things and people we love. Well, I argue that if I could make time I'd have time because I'd be the richest person on earth. Who wouldn't pay to get back that five minutes the other day when you put your foot in your mouth in front of the boss or the mayor.
I'd be rolling in dough, and for a change it wouldn't be cookie dough.
I started the holiday season with a new resolve -- take the time for my friends and family and to heck with work. Just as soon as I finish this column.
Kelli Du Fresne is Features editor for the Nevada Appeal. If you have any ideas for making or marketing time you can reach her at email@example.com