Done early, for a change

Published 9:23 pm Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, for the first time in a very long time, I am getting something done early.

My Christmas shopping, as of this moment, is about halfway done.

Those of you who are overachievers probably think, “Only halfway? It’s already the first of December!” However, those who know me are thinking, “Already? It’s not Christmas Eve yet!”

Yes, it’s true, I tend to be somewhat of a procrastinator, particularly on things I don’t like doing (and I hate shopping). In high school, I waited until the weekend before papers were due to write them. In college, it got worse — my senior thesis was written in 12 hours the night before it was due.

My editors, past and present, can attest that I am frequently right up against the deadline when it comes to turning in stories. So it’s no surprise I usually wait until the week before Christmas to start my holiday shopping.

In fact, I remember one Christmas in particular two years ago, when I found myself in a department store on Christmas Eve two hours before it closed, panicking because I had yet to buy a single gift for anybody for Christmas. Despite my procrastination, I managed to work it out that year.

However, I soon realized that might not always work. Therefore, I vowed to start early this year.

I got off to a good start this year when I happened to see an item I knew somebody on my list wanted, while I was already in a store the week before Thanksgiving. I snatched it up, and then thought of something else in the same store I had been asked for by my cousin, April. I headed to that department and purchased that item, too. If it seems like I’m being vague, it’s because both April and my parents read my columns, and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

My mother helped out by giving me a list of items she wanted this year, and I had made two online purchases — one for her and one for somebody else — by Thanksgiving Day. At dinner that day, I got ideas for both my grandmother and my father, both notoriously hard people to shop for.

This weekend, I headed to the store and got the gifts for my father and grandmother, as well as another item from my mom’s list. I was on a roll.

However, I am now in a slump. Typically, when I start things early, I procrastinate on the remainder of the chore more severely than I would have done otherwise. Also this weekend, I visited a mall to look for a few more items, but wound up buying nothing but food. I couldn’t come up with any good ideas for my co-workers, and the store I went to the mall for didn’t have the item I needed.

We’ll see how it works out. Happy holiday season, everyone!