I also hate it when I'm handed a wad of bills, sometimes damp. I have to flatten out these nasty bills and it as time consuming for me as it is for you.
I am always afraid to answer the phone, because I don't want to get chewed out because we don't have lay-away. You can plan for the holidays the way I do, by budgeting out a certain amount from each paycheck.
I am not the decision maker. The decision makers are hundreds of miles a way. I have no influence, and there is someone in line behind you.
I do not want to discuss politics. Period.
Please do not get angry with me. I am doing my best to help. I may be having a bad day. My SO might have lost his job (hypothetical). I may have an invisible disease. My kid might be sick.
/end rant....for now/