Tuesday, December 20, 2005

 

CONFESSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS PROCRASTINATOR

It has already been established that I am one of the worst procrastinators in the history of the world. And never has this been more evident than at Christmas time. First, let me tell you until very recently, I HAVE ALWAYS HATED CHRISTMAS! Hated almost everything about it, except Christmas dinner. First, I hate shopping. I believe that large crowds are wonderful at sporting events, and concerts, but should be avoided at all costs any where else. So shopping IN large crowds, forget it! And there is the pressure. Trying to find gifts that will be appreciated by jaundiced kids and a wife looking for new ways to be disappointed. Who in 19 years, never once appreciated a gift I got her (I guess I should be grateful, her father never found one in fifty years that pleased her mother). It always just made Christmas a very unpleasant task.

Also, I have ADD. If you know anything about it, you realize that it is almost impossible for ADD people to force themselves to do unpleasant tasks. So add up horrible procrastinator+ ADD+ Christmas hatred, and you can begin to imagine the ordeal that was Christmas shopping!

I am sure I am the only person in the world who has ever been the last person out of Sears on Christmas Eve three years in a row! While a lot of people go to the 24 hour Walgreen's to get a last minute gift or two, I am probably the only person in the country to ever do half his shopping at 11 p.m. Christmas Eve!

It got a bit better when I discovered Meijer! For those of you unfamiliar with Meijer, think of Super Walmart, only bigger, cleaner, with produce thats actually fresh, meat that actually looks edible, and cashiers with all their teeth who are occasionally even pleasant. For a long time, the nearest Meijer was 45 miles away in Benton Harbor. So I developed a Christmas ritual, On December 22 or 23, I would leave the house about 9 p.m., which would get me to Benton Harbor by 10. I'd get a cup of coffee and double cheeseburger at Steak and Shake just to fortify myself, and walk into Meijer at 11. I would shop until 4 or 5, write a check for approximately $1,000, and pack up the car. My theory was, if you couldn't find it at Meijer, you probably didn't need it anyway! I would then start wrapping gifts as soon as the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve. I became very adept at wrapping gifts, knowing that if I hurried, I could make it to the bar before last call. A couple of good strong drinks and a few beers, and I was able to relax enough to sleep a few hours before the kids woke up! This ritual of last minute shopping lasted over 30 years, till a couple of years ago. But I can tell you that I am now a reformed Christmas procrastinator. Not only am I done shopping at least a week before Christmas, I am actually beginning to ENJOY the holiday! What, you ask, could cause such a sudden change in a man (no, I didn't get religion)? Two things. Granddaughters and the internet.

The internet has to be the best thing that ever happened Christmas shopping! No longer do you have to fight traffic on your way to the mall. No more horn honking and bird flipping. No more tug of war with the 300 lb. sistah with the razor hair over the last copy of Madden 2003 available in the free world. No more arguing with sales clerks because the sale sign says the price is lower than the computer says it is. No more swallowing Rollaids and Prozac by the hands full.

Now, I sit down at the computer with a mug of Columbia Supremo and a six pack of Leinenkugel. I go to shopping.com and compare prices for all the items on my list. Sponge Bob Big Wheel for Sierra, found it. Click on it, it's mine. Barbie's Dreamhouse for Savannah, click on it, mine again. Movies, computer accessories, gift cards, toiletries... click, click, click click, mine, mine, mine, mine! Hey done shopping in one coffee and two beers, a new personal best!

The internet to me is what Marley's ghost was to Scrooge. It has given me back Christmas!

Comments:
KEWL!! I have to try that next year.

Don't have ADD but hate being pushed and pulled by crowds. The parking lots alone defeat me (I have a car I care about to an unnatural degree).

The drinking thing sounds good too. This year's saving grace was a great STarbucks coffee provided by truly kind elves.

Next year? Who knows!!!
 
Nice... My undergrad Psych advisor does research on Chronic Procrastination... wanna be a case study?! ;)

I have gotten things at the last minute as well, and I LOVE online shopping. My mom starts shopping in October, I just don't have the space to store stuff for 2 months. Oh well.

And as far as gifts not being appreciated - well that's HER problem I think.
 
Ah GWB,

Another area where we share the same values. The only thing nice about Christmas is the cooking. All else is tiresome.

I did everything via the 'net this year too. And I just sent a floral arrangement as a last minute gift before coming here to check out your blog.

At one point in my life I was responsible for shopping for and wrapping all the gifts, decorating a 9-room house (trees, candles in the windows, etc.), doing all the cooking (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day --for no fewer than 10 to 12 people--breakfast,main meals, cookies, goodies, etc., sending out all the Christmas cards. AND ALL THIS WHILE WORKING A FULL TIME JOB!!!!!

Never again!

It was too much and I burned out.

Didn't do anything like that last year (I was in a warm climate, wearaing a bikini and drinking mojitoes and margaritas last year.) And this year I did the minimum.

Happy Holiday to you GWB. You've got the right attytood!

Relax. Enjoy. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE PRESENTS!!!!!
 
Okay, I thought that would work because, I'm with you - malls around Christmas are no fun. In fact, they piss me off. So, I was a good little girl and ordered my gifts for my hard-to-shop-for people the first weekend in December. Most things got delivered without a hitch. For my mom, I ordered some really pretty silver cat earrings and a MATCHING necklace. I got the earrings a few days after I ordered them and, after two calls, an email, and then another email threat to report this company to the BBB, I just got the necklace in the mail yesterday. Good thing I opened it and looked at it because it's the wrong friggin order. Now, there is no way to fix it before Christmas so I get to actually go out to the mall and get a matching set of something silver and jewelry before Christmas. /sigh I guess my point is that internet shopping is nice most of the time, but clusterfucks still happen. :-/

As far as gifts not being appreciated, I'm sorry to hear that. If you're not buying her dish towels or a vacuum or exercise equipment (which no one should ever buy their wives for Christmas), then I can't feel to badly for her. :-P
 
LOl.. no never purchased any items like that, nor a Showtime Rotisserie, like her current bf did (he's still payin for THAT one!). Never any appliancs or tools!
 
I like that. "click click mine mine". I used the internet too. I hate large commercial book stores so I bought all my bookish Christmas gifts on Amazon this year.
Ha ha, Barnes and Nobel. You don't get any of my money this year!
 
So glad you recovered, at least partially from the procrastination. The Net is a godsend for so many in so many ways. Merry Christmas!
 
Hehehe, you would have been screwed in my family: we celebrate on Christmas Eve! Ha, that's one less day for you to procrastinate. :)
 
Internet shopping in a small town has been a Godsend for me!
We used to drive 3 hours to the closest shopping mecca. This would only add stress and expense to our lives.
Now, I sit with my coffee and find EVERYTHING on my list at bargain prices. It doesn't get any better than this!
 
Sadie, I'm bettin in another couple of years you'll be doin all your shopping online, and using all that time you save to go to the movies!

VV - mee too! And yes it is!

Miss World.... wanna bet? Those three straight years I was the last person out of Sears, I had gotten off work and was on my way to the inlaws to celebrate Chritsmas! Yeah, I can even wrap and drive!

tshsmom - It scares me sometimes how much you and I think alike!
 
Me too!
 
Missworld,

My family has always celebrated on Christmas Eve too ('cept Santa comes in the morning for the 4 year old). We're hosting the folks and my brother and his family for both X-mas Eve and Christmas dinner the next day. We've already started cooking. There is going to be a lot of food and ale. Diet be damned.

... and there's only one gift I want this Christmas: impeachment. :-)
 
I thought I had it made - I only had to shop for Tuffy! Then she downloaded some of the shopping my way....I had to search out some insane video game that nobody had in stock....no time for the internet...found it at Best Buy, turned and looked at the cash register....line-up of about 60 people.....Britney Spears pounding from cheap speakers...the place packe...Scotty, lock in on my coordinates.....beam me up to the ship.
 
Grandchildren will do that to you, for sure, Bear. :)

I like to get it over with in September. The weather is still nice and no long lines and the flue season isn't in full swing.

However, I have over the years sometimes treated myself to a trip, on Christmas Eve to the local mall just for the pleasure of watching all those men with that desperate look on their faces as they wander around looking for something. Just anything to put a end to their misery.
It's the little things at that give me pleasure at Christmas. :)

Have a Merry Christmas bear and have a beer or two for me.
Happy Trails!
 
I tried internet shopping once for a Christmas gift for my folks, which turned out by the time it was finally delivered, a happy "Spring Equinox" gift. Very frustrating. It was one of those "Chef Tony's Miracle Blade II" sets that kept getting backordered. I didn't feel like driving from Oshkosh to Connecticut to rattle their cage, so I just sent them threatening emails with big, hairy-scary words. Oooooo, they were so intimidated!

I'll probably try again, but I'll need some sort of guarantee or money back. Or, scientists ought to invent a way in which one can actually reach in through the internet and slap up these dot-com owners to wake them up.

Happy Spring Equinox, everyone!
 
Not a fan of Christmas either, but like you and Isabella, the food is where it's at.

As a student, I did my shopping Christmas Eve because I was usually so bagged after exams, etc. NO MORE! I get it done early or online. But in reality, I don't buy a lot of presents anymore. A donation to a charity is much easier overall. No one I know needs anything, other people DO, so a donation is a great idea. This went over well with everyone except one family member who shall remain nameless.
 
I might just have to follow your lead next year, GWB. If I have to dodge those little remote-control cars at the mall one more time I may crack, pull a Godzilla and start stomping on all of them.
 
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