When It Comes To Christmas Present Shopping I Plan Way Ahead And Still Panic At The Last Minute
I love shopping for Christmas presents. Â I love finding that thoughtful item that my mother or husband — that one thing they didn’t know they needed or that would just bring a smile to their face. Â Now that I have kids, that feeling has magnified. Â I know EXACTLY what they love, what makes them giggle, what occupies their tiny hands and minds. Â So it’s not really a surprise to me that I’m always on the hunt for that perfect gift. Â The problem is it lasts from July to Christmas Eve.
It’s not unusual for me to start buying things in the summer. Â When my son points out something as we shop for a friend’s birthday party, I make a note and buy that toy later. Â I get so exciting thinking how he won’t even remember that he picked it out all those months ago and how happy he’ll be that it’s back in his life. Â Then of course, I’m a sucker for Black Friday sales. Â I know, I know it’s a consumerism evil, but I don’t line up at 4am and for now, the stores are still open so I go looking for the really choice deals (and nothing less). Â So by the end of November I’ve got myself a really great stock for both my kids and my niece and nephew.
But then something happens to me around December 15. Â I think, “there’s less than two weeks until Christmas Day! Â Do I have enough presents?” Â The anxiety grows as the day comes closer. Â I imagine them tearing through their few gifts and sitting there looking dejected on Christmas morning. Â By December 23 I’m sure I have ENOUGH presents, but are they the right presents? Â What’s the one thing my four-year-old has mentioned more than any other. Â Clearly they won’t be getting everything they ask for, but I do hope to not disappoint them in that ONE thing they really had their heart set on. Â I remember one Christmas in particular when I asked for my first Cabbage Patch Kid. Â Never mind the fact that they were flying off shelves, but my family had very little money and those things were really expensive. Â So I opened all my presents and couldn’t help feeling disappointed that there was no Cabbage Patch Kid. Â I didn’t cry or even say anything, but I recall being really bummed in my head. Â After breakfast a few hours later my parents acted shocked and said they forgot to tell us there was one more gift for each of us waiting under their bed. Â It was my Cabbage Patch Kid. Â To this day I remember that feeling of sheer joy all the way to my bones every time I think about it. Â We may not be able to give our kids a lot, but I hope to give them a few Christmases like that.
I also have the worst (or is it the best?) fallback excuse to buy more. Â My kids’ birthdays are both in February, so I rationalize that if at the end of the day I have too many gifts I can just give them the excess for their birthday. Â And my hand to heaven, I actually did that last year. Â I didn’t buy a single gift between Christmas and their birthdays because I was all set. Â I was so proud of myself. Â Because frankly who has money for anything after Christmas? So now I feel like I have a free pass to say yes to those last minute frantic buys.
And why am I frantic a few days before Christmas? Â Mostly because I have no idea what I’ve already bought the kids. Â We hide their gifts in random little places all around the apartment so I have no idea what my stash looks like as a whole. Â Last night my husband and I took the whole thing out, separated the loot into piles for each kid Christmas, for my niece and nephew, and even both of my children’s birthday. Â Turns out for all my planning AND my panicking, it all worked out perfectly. Â Now I’m done…until July.