31 Things: Christmas shopping?

This “31 Things in December” post is themed around this: “What’s your shopping list like? What’s your shopping approach?”

I’m a bit anal retentive when it comes to preparing for Christmas shopping. Every good North Pole workshop has to be well prepared, right?

At some point in November, I prepare a Numbers (it’s the Mac version of Excel, but much better) document complete with a box for each person and one for random things (cards, etc.). Each box has a line listing the item, a line listing an estimated price and then one listing the actual price.

Then, the totals from each box are linked to another area of the document where I can see a grand total.

This system also helps to see what I’ve purchased in the past.

With this elaborate system, though, I still don’t finish shopping until Christmas Eve. I enjoy shopping as late as possible.

I try my hardest to not buy stuff just to buy it. I do try to think of gifts the people on my list will enjoy and appreciate. Many times, this involves one-of-a-kind items or themed-gifts.

For instance, last year, I gave my mom these four hand-made paper mache caroler figures that once were used in a Kaufmann’s window display in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The worst part of shopping is dealing with the rude folks who act like they’re the only people with a lot to get done. If they had planned ahead of time, maybe they wouldn’t have to be in such a hurry.