The Home Stretch

This is it--just one more day to finish Christmas shopping. And this year, I will have to use it. Fortunately, I didn't leave all my shopping completely to the 11th hour.

Usually I would have finished my Christmas shopping by now, but unfortuantely, I don't have the luxury of a flexible schedule anymore. So I've been doing my shopping here and there, getting one or two things at a time. I found that I've spent a lot of time wandering around different stores and malls but coming up empty. I was starting to develop "shopper's fatigue."

As the clock ticks by, the pressure was on. Last weekend I finally knocked off a good number of names from the shopping list--it took a combination of online and good ol' fashion shopping to get things done. Throughout last week, I did some more shopping during lunch and after work. Slowly but steadily, my shopping became 90% done. I learned my lesson, though. Next year, I should do more online shopping late at night and regular shopping during regular business hours, which are far more limited. It boils down to a simple game plan of clock management.

What about the people who are still left on the list right now? There are a couple of variations of the same option. Sometime last week, an online portal had an article about how gift cards are the worst. gifts. ever., on the account of being thoughtless gifts. I completely disagree. I think gift cards are very thoughtful gifts indeed. Why should I impose my idea of what's suitable for Cousin Bob on Cousin Bob when he is the one who knows best? Let the gift recipient decide what he or she really wants. I also advocate giving cash, especially if that's what the person needs. Someone who is unemployed this holiday season may be less concerned with getting fancy gadgets than he/she is with paying for rent, utilities, and food. In that event, cash or gift cards to such places as Target or grocery stores may be particularly of help.

Of course, the downside to the cash/gift card gifts is that the gift recipient knows the exact value of what he or she is getting. This might not be so good if you can only afford to give something worth less than $10. People may say that it's the thought that counts, but unfortunately, it's not completely true.

I'm going to take a week off from blogging to regroup and recoup. I wish you all Happy Holidays. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next year.

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