UNITED STATES—We are just a few days away from Christmas America, and with that news, it means the crowds are starting to pick-up in intensity at the grocery stores and just about any retailer that you visit. I used to be someone who could deal with the crowds and not lose his patience, but that is not the case anymore. I don’t know what has transpired, but I just cannot do it anymore. I don’t know if its age, the stress from work, the stress from family or just the chaos of the holidays, but Christmas can be a trying time for many people.

For some, the spirits are low because they’ve lost loved ones very close to them, while others just take on way too much. I might be one of those people. I try to go above and beyond to ensure I get gifts for as many people as I possibly can in my family. As a result, I find myself irked when I cannot find that perfect gift. I’m starting to realize there is no such thing as a perfect gift. Yes, you can get someone on your list exactly what they want, but at the same time it might break your bank.

I cannot just stretch myself so thin that I’m in utter chaos at the thought of going broke to please people on Christmas morning. Well, I have to stop. As a result, I’m keeping it simple this year. I’m getting gifts for those who have gotten gifts for me, and more importantly, I’m sticking to a budget and not moving away from it. One gift that’s it and if the person doesn’t like it so be it; I cannot please everyone and the notion of trying is just too exhausting for me.

It has become a major realization for me, that I started my Christmas shopping very late this year. I usually start sometime in August or September. This year, I really didn’t start until the day after Thanksgiving. That is not smart because the throws of the Christmas holiday are in full swing now. The malls, the outlets and most retailers are swarmed with people.

What is worse I’ve come to the realization that I cannot shop in the middle of the day or late in the day. I’m an early bird and I HAVE to get out as soon as the retailer opens the doors or before those doors are about to open. Why? People can be annoying, I hate waiting in lines nowadays and I no longer have the patience that I used to have. The goal for me is to know what I want, know where I want to get it from, the price and who I’m getting it for. I’m not an indecisive shopper; once I know what I want it’s super easy for me to get it and get out of the store.

Some people think it’s crazy, but that is just how I operate; I don’t want to shop for hours and not find the item that I want. What sucks the worst, I’m still NOT DONE WITH MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING! I absolutely hate being a last minute shopper because you tend to find yourself purchasing an item that you don’t want, not to mention getting a gift for someone that you know they’ll hate, not to mention dealing with crowds, massive crowds to say the least.

Here’s my advice for all including myself: take a deep breathe, relax and remember Christmas only comes once a year so enjoy it while it is upon us, just don’t stress out by spending too much and trying to please everyone. No matter what you do you cannot please the world.

Written By Kelsey Thomas