How Not To Shop For Christmas

Christmas Shopping 002

I’m taking a short break from the Christmas season to catch my breath.

Christmas, as wonderful as it is, can be quite exhausting.  That’s because it is relentless.  There’s no such thing as “free time” between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is “Go! Go!  Go!” for 30 straight days.

Even if a spare moment happens to come along, our first thought is always, “Oh my gosh!  What am I forgetting?!”

I should be working on my next post in my Alistair and Alexis Christmas Story, but I’m too tired.

My brain is idling in neutral while double-parked outside of Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  I don’t even know what it’s waiting for.  Inspiration, probably.

I have been out Christmas shopping every day this week.  Four straight days of getting up early and hitting the malls and the shops and the specialty stores.  I’m talking hours and hours each day!

I have heard some people say that shopping is therapeutic.  If that is true, then I must be shopping differently than those people.

I find instead that shopping causes me a lot of stress, angst, anxiety, and disquietude.

Maybe I’m doing it wrong.  Maybe I overthink what to get people.

Or maybe it’s because in our modern, affluent society, everyone already has most everything they need or want.   And if they don’t already have it, it’s probably because neither them nor me can afford it.

But whatever the reason, I find myself in shops I never normally go into, holding up things I’ve never heard of, saying things like, “I wonder if they will like this hand-cranked Brussels sprout de-corer?”

And then your phone buzzes and somehow the store you’re standing in knows you’re there and has sent you a coupon that says if you buy the hand-cranked Brussels sprout de-corer and one other item, you get a third item for free!

Great!  More pressure to get more stuff!

I look around for a second item.

Okay, I’ll just pick up this solar powered device that magically peels the albedo strings off of an orange.

Ugh!  Now I need a third item!


How about this scarf made from orange albedo strings?  It’s responsibly sourced and everything!

Standing in the checkout line, you realize that the person you’re buying this stuff for hates oranges.  And Brussels sprouts.  But I’ve already been in this line for 15 minutes and there’s only 2 more people ahead of me.  I can’t just give up a primo spot like this!

Plus I don’t know what else to get them!

I feel a little woozy and realize suddenly that the last thing I ate was a sample of pumpkin latte apple-butter licorice taffy that someone handed me as I passed the candy store 5 hours ago.

Feeling … so … faint.

But … checkout …. so …. close!

Repeat this scene 6 or 7 more times by the end of the day.

As I said … I think I’m doing it wrong.


I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season!




  1. Just reading this now. Jan 12. Just a tiny tiny bit late! Can you say?!

    If only you knew my Christmas shopping story this year! You probably be so glad you did not know me or interacted with me, as I am certain, it will only manage to irritate you! 😊

    You did well! I honestly could not do 1/9th of the effort you spent, and I’m a woman. So you did really well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kat! I’m just now responding to your comment on Jan 21. Sorry! I am horribly behind on my comments and trying desperately to catch up.

      You can go ahead and tell me your Christmas shopping story. I don’t irritate easily. 🙂 But if anything wears me out, it is shopping! So thank you for your praise of my shopping. Coming from you, it means a lot. 🙂

      It’s hard to believe that Christmas is already 4 weeks behind us in the rear view mirror! Where does the time go?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with annanolan2014. Buy what you want throughout the year and don’t worry about presents when Christmas/Hanukkah/insert your favorite winter holiday here time comes around. ‘No presents’ is the best present we ever gave each other!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My husband does most of the shopping. He even shops for his own gifts. He wraps them, and acts surprised when he opens them. I am a last minute shopper. Christmas Eve is a quiet shopping day plus the sales have usually started. Mostly though I am just a spectator for the gift part.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your break is richly deserved: I’m dizzy just thinking about the prolificacy of your creative output – let alone all this shopping you are dragooned into. Yonks ago, my long-suffering other half and I (we have no kids) made a pact: no Christmas presents; we simply acquire whatever we want whenever we want it. Much as I love your skits, I hope you get to enjoy some restorative downtime. Season’s greetings from the rain-soaked England.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Anna! Yes, I got a bit dizzy, too, while shopping. Whenever I am out of my natural element I tend to get dizzy, my heart races, and I feel an irresistible urge to become a hermit.

      I love your pact of no Christmas presents and getting things along the way. I think that is a much better system and, if the world could adopt that, Christmas would become a lot less stressful (and commercial) than it is now. Of course, the merchants would not like that system at all! The world economy might very well collapse. 🙂

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas! (Also, please send some rain to Texas. We are parched at the moment.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Biff, you are inspiring husbands everywhere! shopping for gifts – it’s not even Christmas Eve, yet there you are…. I bought some little boxes for the candy treats she makes every year but I’m thinking she wants something a little personal ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normally I wait until Christmas Eve to start doing my shopping, but I thought I’d do something novel this year and start early.

      And personal gifts? That fills me with even MORE anxiety! It’s one thing for them to dislike a horrible gift, but when they turn their nose up at something that you agonized over, trying to make sure it is personal … well … that is just too much pressure!

      Liked by 2 people

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