I'm not what you would call a creative person. You may remember I'm the woman who bent a coat hanger into a circle, attached twisted nose tissue to it, called it a wreath, and hung it outside just before it rained.

So what am I doing in a crafts store the week before Christmas? I must have asked myself that question a million times as I pushed and shoved up and down miles of aisles. I swear to you, I never knew there were so many women "into" home crafts in my life. I felt like I was trapped in a room full of Martha Stewarts.All I wanted was a few yards of ribbon to resuscitate an old wreath for the front door. That was it. I was going to grab a few spools of something Christmasy and be outta there.

Then my eyes began to glaze over and I had an out-of-body experience. I looked at a wall of Styrofoam balls and said to myself, "I can make those suckers look like Faberge eggs." I looked at white T-shirts and fantasized that I could paint designs without numbers. A woman grabbed three wreaths made out of grapevines. I grabbed four.

I couldn't hold all the stuff in my arms, so I rushed to get a little plastic basket. They were all gone. I grabbed a straw one on sale for $19.95 - I'd fill it with fruit and give it to someone.

My mind was working faster than my hands. If I bought a green swag, I could decorate it with little birds that I could paint gold. The bare topiary tree would look smashing with bits of fake greenery and artificial fruit.

Carts were gouging me, crying babies were everywhere and I was getting a high from the potpourri, but I kept going. It was like Woodstock with fully clothed people.

A crowd of women were gathered around a display of packaged sequins. Someone was explaining what she was going to do with them. I couldn't hear, but I bought four packets anyway. Fake poinsettias were $2.98 a bunch. Who could ever have too many fake poinsettias?

My basket was overflowing as I remembered I had come in for a ribbon for my wreath. I pored over the selection for another 15 minutes before selecting one. Then I realized I didn't know how to make a bow. There were printed instructions posted on the wall. They could have been plans for a nuclear rocket. I put the ribbon back and headed for the checkout line.

"Did you find everything you wanted?" asked the cashier.

"Except for the ribbon," I smiled.

"There's an entire wall of it on display."

"I know," I said, "I couldn't find my color."