When it comes to shopping for the holidays, I consider myself a bit of an expert. I start looking and making purchases toward the end of August. I have 5 kids, 6 nieces, 3 nephews and multiple siblings, parents and friends to buy for - I need to treat this like a marathon, not a sprint.
I've been ordering online, stacking boxes and bags. There's been tucking away trinkets and treasures just waiting for the monster wrapping session that's creeping around the corner. Now that you're completely impressed and thinking I really have my shit together, let me tell you why shopping ahead of time is a curse not a blessing.
Over-purchasing: I usually finish buying for a kid or two by October. But have you seen those great deals in November? I just keep finding better gifts than I bought the first time around and keep adding to the gift pile as well as my Visa bill.
That present just isn't "in" anymore: At the beginning of the school year, I bought these fabulous feathers that get weaved into the hair. I couldn't wait to give those. That is until I was driving my 15-year-old home a few weeks ago and she was talking about feathers and how they are so "out" now - who would be caught dead in feathers....
Things don't fit anymore: How was I to know my 9-year-old was going to hit a massive growth spurt and her Sasquatch foot would grow two sizes in two months. I bought the most adorable shoes and got a great deal. But when she didn't fit in her soccer cleats anymore, I panicked. I ripped them out of their hiding place and just said, "here - try these on". Of course I was met with squeals of delight, followed by squeals of pain trying to shove her foot in. Damn.
We need the present now: It's swim banquet night. My oldest has nothing appropriate to wear. I'm cringing because we don't have time to run out to get anything, but I know I have a stack of adorable tops that were ordered long ago. So I broke down and opened three and let her choose one that she had pants to match. There go those gifts.
I really need a babysitter: I was trying to get the house ready for a holiday party. My 4-year-old was begging me to play. Everyone else was at school. I looked down at those big sad eyes and said, "How would you like some new monster trucks and a Buzz Lightyear Operation game?" Yep, busted those out and gained about two hours.
My once completed shopping list currently has holes all over it. Shopping early isn't all it's cracked up to be. I guess I have a good base to work from, but now I can't remember who I have to buy for and how many. I've used Christmas presents for last minute birthday parties and hostess gifts. Who knows what's left and what everyone will eventually end up with. I guess I'll just blame it on Santa.