A Brief Guide to Christmas Shopping for the Rest of Us

Christmas shopping is a terrifying, stressful experience that we have to confront each and every year. It has the power to turn normally courteous and considerate people into raving lunatics with absolutely no sense of human decency. To do it well, to find gifts that will make your loved ones really feel loved, is a bit of an art that can take a lot of practice. I have some suggestions that will hopefully steer you in the right path and clear up some common misconceptions about the subject.

First and foremost, it is absolutely essential to wait until the very last minute. We all know someone who gets all their shopping done before Thanksgiving, so that they can relax (and brag) all through December. This may seem like a good idea, but I assure you it’s not. These people are not to be trusted. They are likely foreign spies or androids sent to destroy Christmas. Experienced shoppers know that the best ideas come when your back is against the wall, when you have think outside the box and really dig down to come up with that special gift. In truth, anything purchased before December 23’rd is likely to be boring and uninspired.

Another common mistake is to read Christmas lists. This is an absolute no-no. Any hack can go out and buy something off a list of things their Mother-in-Law claims she actually wants. If you want to show someone that you love them, pick up something that you think they should have, maybe even something that you’d really like for yourself. It shows that you are selfless as well as thoughtful. Your Mother in Law will greatly appreciate it and forget all about that little “incident” during Thanksgiving dinner.

Lastly, store selection is crucial. Since you should only have a few days (or hours) left before you buy a single gift, efficiency is everything. You’ll want to choose a locale that is easy to get to and carries gifts for the whole family. Malls may seem like the obvious choice, but you should resist them at all costs. By the time you park your car and safely navigate to the necessary stores, it may already be too late. My advice is to hit up your nearest Wal-Mart or comparable all-in-one store. Also, remember that gas stations often have a wide variety of gifts to choose from and are easily accessible from the highway.

Hopefully these suggestions will make your holiday a little bit easier. Christmas can be a trying time, but if you follow my advice and trust your gut, you’ll get through it. If not, there are always gift cards.

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