Not exactly chomping at the bit to battle crazed shoppers and empty your wallet this Christmas season? Then you just may find yourself progressing through this avoidance model that I like to call the “7 Stages of Avoiding Your Christmas Shopping.”
1. Shock and Denial. You react to the presence of Christmas paraphernalia in department stores and peppermint-infused drinks at Starbucks with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the impending holiday in an effort to pretend that you don’t have to buy exorbitantly priced video games to put under the tree. This shock may last for weeks, until a friend’s incessantly chipper Facebook updates about her seven Christmas trees finally breaks you down and leads to…
2. Pain and Guilt. As the shock wears off, it’s replaced with excruciating pain when you finally concede that you will have to go shopping and you probably will not be able to track down that Snow Glow Elsa your daughter asked Santa for.
3. Anger and Bargaining. Frustration gives way to anger — and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame on your husband or another loved one for distracting you from getting any shopping done: “I’d have all the presents by now if YOU hadn’t made me binge-watch House of Cards with you!”
4. Depression. You’re never going to be able to finish your shopping now. It’s too late. Christmas is ruined.
5. The Upward Turn. Just as you resign yourself to disappointing all your friends and family, you remember: Amazon has two-day shipping!
6. Reconstruction and Working Through. The boxes start arriving on your doorstep, emboldening you enough to even tackle the lines at Target. This is OK. You are going to be OK.
7. Acceptance and Hope. During this, the last of the seven stages in this avoidance model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality — often with a glass of wine in hand — that you will be paying off these gifts until the next Christmas rolls around. And yes, you will enjoy Christmas, and hope that you eventually find a Snow Glow Elsa in an after-Christmas sale bin.
Congrats! You have made it through the 7 stages of avoiding your Christmas shopping.