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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 17

Gapers Block

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Sara / November 7, 2008 11:46 AM

I might start before Thanksgiving if I see something that will be totally perfect for a certain person. Then I usually start in early December. I try to buy as many things as I can online, because holiday shopping in stores freaks me out. Too many people!

Jasmine / November 7, 2008 11:57 AM

I start thinking about holiday shopping in July, the thought being "Oh, I'm going to start early and be done by Thanksgiving!" or "Screw it! Everybody's getting a nice e-card from someecards and they're gonna like it."

I forget about it until right around Halloween, when I notice that the seasonal aisle at Walgreen's is switching from huge bags of Halloween candy to, um, huge bags of Christmas candy.

I start panicking around Thanksgiving weekend, and this panicking escalates into a weird anxiety which eventually gives way to a day or two of shopping for immediate family and one or two friends around December 13th.

I make a big deal out of finding the right wrapping paper, then wrapping stuff, then I think "Screw it!" again and I chuck everybody's presents, wrapped and all, in a shopping bag at the bottom of my closet, to be taken out and mailed some time around January 3rd.

Jess / November 7, 2008 12:08 PM

I will casually shop for the holidays beginning around this time, at least for good friends and immediate family members. By mid-December I am entirely enveloped by the holiday spirit and go overboard - buying ridiculous, kitschy crap for the rest of my friends - you know, small tokens of my love and appreciation. Seventy-five percent of these gifts never get given and end up in my proverbial present closet to be given the next year. Speaking of which... where is all that shit?

Gaigen / November 7, 2008 12:25 PM

The week of December 25. Seriously. Maybe two or three days before. I've gotten it down now. Gift cards for the neices and nephews, some "couple stuff" for the married ones (things they can both use: food basket, small appliance, etc.), sweaters for my brothers, shirt for my dad, gift card for mom. Done. May sound cold and calculated but it saves a lot of stress and I'm not all pissy when I go to visit them on Christmas day. They don't really care what they get anyway, and if they do, they know how to accept it gracefully (well most of them). As long as it's not something hideously wrong, it's cool. And gift cards for the kids is the way to go. They're all pretty much teenagers so let them get what they want. The only person I may give some thought to is a SigOth I may have at the time.

eee / November 7, 2008 1:07 PM

This year I'm strapped for cash, so I already started shopping. I figure if I pick things up on a good sale in September or October, it's worth it rather than paying more closer to the holidays.

annie / November 7, 2008 2:11 PM

I'm lucky because a few years ago my family decided that we should go out to a nice dinner and that is present enough. So I only buy for my main squeeze now and he's fun to shop for. We try to get each other fun little things that don't break the bank but that we wouldn't buy for ourselves. But I'm very nervous because I usually have lots of ideas and this year, not a one. Guess I should start shopping.

Irisheyes1212 / November 7, 2008 2:33 PM

Annie we are trying that this year...I can't wait! My mom gingerly brought it up, and my bro and I are all over it. In fact we have dinner 12/22 and I have Christmas Day to myself (and my beau) which is great.
I turn 30 on 12/12 so my mom and I going to the Steppenwolf together on the 22nd then meeting up with my dad and bro for Christmas / Bday dinner. (It's my bro's birthday too)
We realized how silly its been since we've gotten older. I get my bro $100 in gift cards for Best Buy, I get same back for Target. I mean really....
It's really going to avoid a lot of stress this year.
That's great because I get anxious easily. I'm anxious right now.

D / November 7, 2008 4:22 PM

I usually never have to do much of any shopping for the holidays because my awesome wife handles it all, even for my relatives.

My hope for this year is to use the economic downturn as a reason to convince most of the folks that we need to either stop giving each other gifts, or at least tone it down severely. I mean really, most everyone I know has no need for more stuff. Having recently moved I can tell you that I certainly don't need more of anything. I'm looking forward to a back to basics Christmas focusing on good company and good food.

fluffy / November 7, 2008 6:14 PM

I wait until the last minute- and it's not a lot of shopping either. Only for the nieces. I hate holiday shopping. I'd rather buy things for people throughout the year and surprise them. I do send cards out ,though.

Brandy / November 8, 2008 5:27 AM

A few years ago my mom, sis and I decided no gift anymore. Hooray!

Now that I found a great love, with a great family, I have to renegotiate the holidays. Seems to be more about managing time than managing gifts. We'll see.

mike-ts / November 8, 2008 8:33 AM

Everyone from puberty on gets gift cards. One trip from the car to the celebration house that way, no big stuff. Kids get a small toy.

With cards, one size fits all, and it's always the right color. I'd rather take the lazy way out and have someone satisfied than go out of my way to prove how much I care for a present that they don't like and that goes to the back of the closet, never to be seen again.

Brian / November 8, 2008 5:35 PM

Usually the first week in December is when I start. Gifts are usually limited to gift cards for most, Hot Wheels cars for my best friend's kid (What? He loves them!), and I take care of Christmas present for my mom while she's up visiting for Thanksgiving, since it's easier to shop for someone when they're there and can approve or disapprove of something.

Cheryl / November 9, 2008 2:12 PM

I try every year to talk my brothers into the no gifts thing, but it never works. I don't mind buying for my niece, but seriously, none of the adults in my family *need* anything and that includes me.

And I'm done already. I do it way early so I don't have to be out in the stores when they're playing holiday Muzak.

jennifer / November 9, 2008 9:03 PM

considering that my gift giving is rather sparse due to the grad student/no money + big family combination, I'm really only buying gifts for my SO, my grandmother (jointly with my sisters), and my father (again, jointly with my sisters). some friends send me nice gifts and I really wish that I could reciprocate, but like I said, poor grad student = limited purchasing power. maybe I'll try and do holiday cards this year.

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