I am a pro-shopper. Like in…procrastinating shopper. The kind that waits until the absolute last minute to buy presents for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, retirements, bar mitzvahs, housewarming… (you get the point). And, you guessed it, it’s no different during the Christmas season. In fact, I think I usually become worse in December. I convince myself somehow that I have all the time in the world to shop, finding excuses not to go out to the mall and I take my time with thoughtful reflection in picking out the perfect gift for my family and friends. My family and friends would then marvel at my gift giving abilities and how I’ve done it yet again and I would be so proud of myself. But I know it’s wishful thinking because it will never happen. I will always wait until the day before Christmas to shop, finding excuses along the way (and not very good ones, mind you)
I’m good at excuses. I don’t have time for shopping right now, I have to cook dinner (in my house, throwing a TV dinner in the microwave is considered making dinner). I can’t go shopping, I have to wash my hair (you obviously haven’t seen it when I leave it unwashed for a few days). I can’t go shopping because I have to clip my toenails (they can grow way out of control if I don’t). I can’t go shopping because I have to watch my favorite TV show (Homeland is just too good to DVR)!
So, the excuses pile up until it’s December 24th and I have exactly two hours to do a marathon sprint through the shops, picking at left over items in bins that are marked ‘Sale’ when it should really say, “For fools that waited until the last minute. This means you Erin!”
And when I finally get home, after spending hours looking for parking and flipping someone the bird numerous times for taking my parking spots, after rushing like a maniac through the Gap checking off my Christmas list of people to buy for and after listening to the same ten Christmas songs on loop over the loudspeaker, I pluck myself down on the sofa with tons of bags surrounding me, swearing that this will be the last year I ever, ever, ever do this again!
Yet, deep down inside, I know I’m lying. As much as I promise myself, I know I’m not going to be any better organized next year. I will not have a master schedule where I’ll be done with all my shopping before Thanksgiving. I just know I will find myself making the same excuses and making the same mad rush and making the same promises to myself… next year.
It’s a tradition with me. Sort of like how some people have holiday traditions of putting up their tree the weekend of Christmas or ice skating in Central Park or taking goofy pictures of themselves in elf hats for their holiday cards. My tradition is shopping for gifts at the last minute.
So forgive me, family and friends, in advance. Forgive me for the ugly yellow sweater that is two sizes too big for you or the ‘Weekend at Bernies’ DVD. Forgive me, kids, for the poster of the Jonas Brothers (who were so “last year”). Forgive me mom for buying you the same tracksuit for the last three years in a row.
I promise you that next year, I won’t let you down. Next year, I’ll be more organized! Next year, I’ll buy you the most amazing gifts! Next year, I’ll….ah, who am I kidding?