Congratulations, you’ve bloody gone and done it again, haven’t you? Somewhere, between the Christmas dinners, the Christmas drinks and the more Christmas drinks, you forgot to buy any Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest and now you’re left with just one day to purchase everything.
Or maybe it's still early and you're just efficient.
If you’re going to get out of this shopping day from hell unscathed, you’re going to have to dampen your expectations, plan ahead and generally be completely ruthless. It is do-able, but you’re going to need to be strict with yourself.
Here's how to do it.
This is crucial. Heading into town without a list of people you need to buy for and a vague idea of what their presents should be is how disasters like last year happen - when you forgot to get Aunty Sally anything and she cried and asked you why you can’t be more like your sister.
Carefully check and double check that you’ve got the right amount of names on your list – run past Mum if necessary. Then, work out a gift idea for each person. Write down the names of the shops that’ll sell it.
Something like this: Aunty Sally – lavender oil to help chill her the f*ck out – Perfect Potions.
Divide and Conquer
If your home town shopping area is of a fair size, you’re going to waste half your day running backwards and forwards between Priceline at one end and David Jones at the other.
Split your gift buying into two camps; that to be done in the north end (or east) of town and that to be done in the south (or west). If you’re really anal, draw a map of your route from Kmart to Rebel Sport to H&M to Lush.
Don’t get hung up
You're not going to get the ‘perfect’ present through one day of shopping. You’ve got about as much chance of nailing Dad’s best ever present in the time you’ve given yourself than Donald Trump does of convincing us he’s not one of those aliens off The Simpsons in disguise.
You’re aiming for a ‘good’ level of present which means that, rather than trying to be totally unique, stick to standard dad gifts; DVDs, socks, books by comedians you don’t find funny… It’s time to accept defeat and do what you can in the time you’ve got left.
Don’t get distracted
Christmas in town at this time of year is likely to be full of people you know from that hot boy in the year above you at school, to your mum’s friend Carol who can talk for Australia.
Avoid these people at all costs, you don’t have time to get sucked into a conversation about Carol’s nephew Tom who’s just emigrated to the UK with his wife Sarah, nor do you have time to go for a ‘quick drink’ your ex-crush. Keep your eyes on the ground, refuse to catch anyone’s eyes and stay focused on the pressing task at hand.
Not being disowned by your family is your reward. Which is OK I guess.
This story was originally published on the Debrief.