English: A Swedish Chrismas gift.
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I did it again.  Every year I swear I’ll Christmas shop throughout the upcoming year and when December arrives, all my well thought-out presents will be wrapped and bowed and ready to be placed under my perfectly decorated tree.  The decorations, on this imagined tree,  are hung with great care because I had hours to fuss with the tree instead of shopping.  The only thing standing in the way of that scenario is unorganized, procrastinating me.

During the year I see lots of great Christmas gift possibilities. I can’t explain why I don’t just buy the gifts immediately.  Probably I’m afraid if I do,  I’ll then find the really perfect gift in the next store.  And, if  that happens, I’ll have to return the other gift and, oh boy, I really hate having to return stuff.  I make a mental note to remember the gift but it seems that I’ve forgotten that my brain doesn’t work that way anymore. By the time I leave the store,  I’ve forgotten that perfect gift.  I’ve also forgotten what I did with my car keys.

Here’s the lowdown on my Christmas shopping.   I, of course, shop online because I don’t have time to go to real stores and select my gifts up close and personal, or , more honestly, I don’t have the patience to fight the ever-present crowds. Waiting this long to shop online is okay if you don’t have to mail gifts or you have lots of bucks to shell out on overnight shipping fees or you’re not extremely picky about your selections. Let this be a warning to all you other procrastinators.   All the well thought-out gifts you wanted to buy are sold out.  Could it be that more people are shopping online?  Anyhow, we late shopper are stuck with the ‘make it work’ gifts.  And I’m going to tell you, it hurts.  The guilt lies within.  I should’ve gotten that personalized pie dish when I first spotted it in the catalogue.

To tell  the truth, online is getting as stressful as in store shopping for me. I spent too many hours on the computer today. I stressed after the third ‘sold out’ notice.  I skipped lunch (unless you count chocolate kisses), avoided the phone and ignored the unmade bed.  The one phone exception was when I called my mom and, in my hazy confusion, I let it slip I was still in my pajamas at eleven.  I know this is one of the perks of working at home, but I could feel her parental judgement from five hundred miles away.

When it finally ended after five, I was in a daze and  my credit card number was embedded into my short-term memory but the pain, brought on by marathon Christmas shopping, ceased.  I got everything -or a facsimile of everything – I needed, except for a few odds and ends. And again I’m vowing to get started early for next Christmas.  But what if the world really does end in 2012? I might need to  reconsider this and wait and see. 2013 might be a more practical year to start.

I know, I know, woe is me and all that.  There are many shoppers that wait later than this to get started and they do a fine job of it.  That’s too much pressure for me.  Shopping any later could be the difference in getting on Santa’s good list or Santa’s ‘restraining order’ list.  That’s a risk I’m not willing to take.