To Avoid Holiday Insanity, Please Follow Me

This slightly late, fatigue-riddled post is brought to you by a mother who loves Christmas and loathes shopping.

Ladies and Gents, there are less than six weeks to shop before Christmas, and while that may seem like plenty I’m here to tell you that it is NOT. As I mentioned before, my husband and I have a method of shopping for Christmas all year through…if we see something in January that we think is a good gift for someone, we’ll pick it up. But we do still do some actual shopping coming up to the holidays because obviously.

Yesterday we made one of those such shopping trips to the city, hoping to tie things up as best we could so we wouldn’t have to worry about it. I won’t say that the stores and malls were packed, but for a Wednesday they were pretty darn busy.

And here’s the thing. It’s only going to explode from here on out. You just watch; before you know what happened it’s going to take you an hour and half a bottle of Advil just to pick up some milk after work.

This is the definition of hell, RIGHT HERE. – Image via

Tonight, at midnight, stores are going to be having late night releases of the Playstation 4. Shortly after, there will be similar releases for the XBox One. This is the first stage in insanity, because no matter how hard you try to explain to people that something is the biggest device of the season and that “we’re all sold out dammit, and no we’re not hiding any in the back, why the hell would we do that?”, people will still flood the stores, kicking and screaming and positively losing their minds because they weren’t on-the-ball enough to pre-order the most important thing that their loved one wants for Christmas. The stores will be packed with these people from tomorrow straight up to Christmas Eve, mark my words.

The second stage in the insanity comes two weeks from now. I’m not sure how many people have noticed this besides my husband and I, but I’m willing to bet it’s not many…see, because of the timing of US Thanksgiving this year, Black Friday lands at the very end of the month. The sales and warnings (ONLY X-NUMBER OF DAYS LEFT, DAMMIT!) that prompt people to run to the stores with credit card in hand are coming late this year, which can only incite further “Oh crap, I haven’t started shopping yet!” panic. On a similar note, Cyber Monday (which, reasonably, comes after Black Friday) will also be late, meaning that the post and shipping companies are going to be slogged with goods purchased online that absolutely must make it to their destinations by Christmas even though they have significantly less time to do so than they have in the past. (In other words, if you’re planning on shipping something to a loved one for Christmas, you better take into consideration that delivery times are going to be much worse this year than they were last year).

The third stage in the insanity is, quite simply, the same stage we deal with every year. People wait until the last minute. They rush in with heads full of stress, short fuses, and no idea what they’re going to buy. They traipse into stores with only the vaguest idea of the toy their kid wants and expect every sales associate to know exactly what they’re talking about when all they can offer is broad descriptions like, “this princess” or “this superhero”. They don’t plan ahead, is what I’m getting at here.

I beg you, don’t be these people. These people are the reason that Christmas turns into a huge, stress-filled ball of anger and frustration. Plan ahead. Start shopping NOW (if you haven’t already), and put some effort into it beforehand. It’s really not that difficult to open a Sears Wish Book and get your kid to point to the exact toys they want, or get them to write a letter to Santa. And (though it’s too late now for the PS4 and XBox One), if someone you love is super-excited for something that’s highly anticipated enough to be having huge midnight-release parties all across the continent, you may want to consider getting that item ordered in advance. If there’s one thing everyone should have learned the year the Nintendo Wii came out it’s that just because you want it doesn’t mean that the stores are going to have it for you, especially of ten million other people want it at the same time.

This Christmas PSA brought to you by a woman who watches this stuff happen year after year and wonders how nobody ever seems to catch on.