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I’m not exactly sure how it happened. It wasn’t planned, I know that certain. I also know that I don’t know if I’ll know how to do it again. But somehow, some way, my Christmas shopping is done.

And, I’m not going to lie, it feels pretty bloody fantastic.

However, for the past 10 days (yep, I’ve been done for 10 days), I’ve had to keep this fact kind of under wraps. Oh, and speaking of that, my wrapping is done too.

Hate me? Of course, you do. As you trudge down aisles and despair over whether it’s a cop-out to get your dad socks again, you hate me. It’s OK, I get it. Why do you think I’ve been keeping it a secret?

Because there is a part of me that hates me too. Trust me, I have been a late-to-the-game shopper my whole life. The problem is twofold:  I’ll think I have plenty of time and I have an amazing capacity for telling myself I’ll figure it out. The conversation goes like this in my head:

Me: “What in the heck are we going to get William this year?”

Self: “He’s so hard to buy for.”

Me: “I agree. So hard.”

Self: “We have to really nail it this year though.”

Me: “Last year’s sweater was a bust.”

Self: “We have to do better.”

Me: “Let’s do better.”

Self: “OK.”

And that’s as far as the progress gets. The problem is, I’ll feel like I’ve made some headway because two things have happened: I’ve invested time into thinking about the problem, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is difficult to solve.

And that will be it. I’ll put the whole issue aside for two weeks and then it will be Dec. 15.

Oh man, Dec. 15 is a rough Christmas shopping day, isn’t it? The stress from your procrastination has built and built and finally you’ve decided you are basically not getting any work done for the entirety of the day until your shopping is done.

But the problem with Christmas shopping is, unless you get really lucky, you can’t rush it. Because if you buy a crap, heartless gift? The receiver will know it. I mean, we all know what a set of coasters means, right? Even if it’s monogrammed? It means you were out of ideas. Same with golf-related paraphernalia. Same with poker-player paraphernalia. Because the thing with golfers and card players is, like, they have what they need already. They have the clubs and they have the cards. You can, theoretically, buy them a putting green-shaped mousepad, but as you do, you know deep down you are scraping the bottom of the gift-giving barrel.

Nevertheless, if it’s Dec. 15 or any day afterward, you either run around from store to store (which I recommend — shop local) or you shop online. And if you shop online? You discover that everything is sold out.

It’s a sad, sad day when you realize that Amazon is empty, agreed? Two-day shipping is only nice when there is something to ship, can I get an Amen?

But we’ve all been there. For example, you finally decide you’re going to pull the trigger and get your friend’s kid a Fingerling, one of the hottest toys of 2017. You go to type it into Amazon and discover there are no Fingerlings for sale. They’re sold out. Gone. Shelves empty. Warehouse basically closed, sister.

But you decide, nah, this can’t be. This is Amazon. So you keep scrolling down (because something always shows up under an Amazon search). You discover there is one retailer who is selling Fingerlings. They are selling $15 Fingerlings for $157.

Thinking on it, I realize that is exactly how I am in the situation I’m in now. Done, I mean. Done and done with my Christmas shopping. It all started back in August with the solar eclipse. I’d been thinking about buying the glasses for months. I’d even given a friend the information about how to get the NASA-approved ones. But I didn’t do it myself. So there I was, desperate, contemplating a package of 10 glasses for $210. I’d either have to buy them or go blind.

I decided then that wouldn’t be me again. I wouldn’t be that person. So, here I am, not that person.

Do I feel smug? Oooh, that’s a toughy. Yeah. I’ll say yeah, I feel smug. However, do I feel sympathetic? I do. I really do. So I wish you well. Godspeed in your shopping search. May all the shelves be stocked and the prices slashed.

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