Now you might be a man who’s on the ball and thoughtful and doesn’t mess up Christmas present buying like the rest of us.
Firstly we’re proud of you.
Secondly we hate you a little for making the rest of us look bad.
I normally start thinking about buying Christmas presents about a week out. I have no idea why.
Every year I watch my daughters carefully making crafts and cool things for the people they love (cheaper than buying stuff. Little budgeters…), and I look proudly on.
Then somewhere in the week before I’m like “Christmas!!! Oh my goodness! I should get presents for people too!”
Erin graciously hints at it a month out by asking me what I want, asking me what my folks might like, talking to me about the girl’s gifts but it doesn’t seem to sink in.
I engage as well as my tiny male brain allows and pat myself on the back for helping her out because I’m nice like that.
Then I panic the week out because I remember I NEED TO BUY GIFTS TOO!!!
Every year it’s the same. You’d think it would keep my self righteous lectures on human conduct to a minimum but it doesn’t, I can be mid lecture and the thought enters my mind “Wait. Have you bought any Christmas gifts yet?”
My man brain responds with “Sure! I totally did a little over a year ago!”
My actual brain shouts “You idiot! Christmas is EVERY YEAR!!”
…which leads me to how most men shop at Christmas…
If you’re like me I’m great at deadlines. Too much time to think for most men isn’t the greatest, we just get into trouble, but give us a deadline ladies and WHAM!
We get results.
Sure they’re the wrong results, but they ARE results and that’s all that matters.
We’re not talking about thriving we’re talking about surviving because that’s what panic is for.
We’re hunter gatherers that run faster when we’re scared.
I don’t know if I’m properly representing every man here because there are some Keepers out there who’ve figured this out, but how I shop for presents is how I watch sports.
I don’t think about the game before it happens as it makes me afraid because I CARE SO MUCH (ahem ladies).
The game begins as I sit down with 5% common sense and 95% nerves. But Nerve is what one needs when one is inwardly panicking.
I could worry about it all ahead of time but that’s living a life of anxiety and I’m too mature for that. Panic is where it’s at.
For the entire length of the game my emotions go from high highs to low lows. From “We’re the kings of the world!” To “We’re so terrible!”
In my nervousness I begin trash talking the other team’s players, other team’s fans looks, and laugh at every mistake because then I don’t have to face my fear of losing.
The game goes on and tension builds.
A goal in the last minute and there’s this huge yell and rush of emotion which makes me feel alive!!!
And that’s how I Christmas shop.
I don’t think about it ahead of time because that brings anxiety which, again, I’m too mature for.
I panic and race out the door after a quiet polite conversation with Erin of “My love.. what would YOU like for Christmas. I’ve already bought a whole bunch of things obviously but… and the girls? Anybody I’m missing?”
I of course have normally bought nothing so I feel guilty for lying but make up for that by trash talking all the Christmas drivers on their way to the mall.
“Come on you idiots! If I don’t get these presents I’m going to be on the couch til next Christmas!!”
The tension rises as I go to the stores my family likes after locating them by NOT asking for directions because I’m too important to look at those information stands in the entrances of malls.
My panic shoots adrenaline in my veins and makes me literally the world’s best decision maker of all time and, inspired, I buy exactly the right gift for everyone. I’m charming to the staff and super fun while I’m there, interacting with other customers because I’m still feeling guilty for lying about “supplemental present shopping” when it is much closer to “emergency present shopping”.
One hour later with the equivalent energy spent on a month of normal life, I head out the door bags in tow.
“Corey! You’re such a genius! How did you manage to save the day again?!!”
This exultant man voice in my head drowns out the “You know, you could avoid all this by shopping earlier next year…”
Who needs to think ahead when I can call my old friend Panic up at the last minute?