Holiday shopping: my kryptonite

11 months a year, I rule the mall — but holiday time is another story

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

I am a very skilled shopper.  I can sniff out a bargain a million miles away, navigate crowds like a pro and be in and out of a dressing room faster than Superman.

Wanna know what I’m TERRIBLE at?

Christmas shopping.

You heard me.  Christmas shopping is my kryptonite.  It makes me tired and irritable.  And, no….it’s not because I am forced to buy for others and not myself (because, that rarely happens).

It’s actually pretty simple: I over-analyze.  I rationalize.  I scrutinize.

Yesterday, my mother and I spent three and one-half hours at Christiana Mall.  I picked up (and promptly put down) about twenty things.  I just can’t seem to pull the trigger when Christmas is still a month away.  Part of this procrastination is based on my theory that retailers will start to sweat the closer it gets to the holiday.  However, what inevitably happens is that the item I am patiently waiting to go from 25% to 40% off is gone in the size, shape or color that I need.  Then, I get angry.

This happens EVERY year.  (Totally serious)

I think that the solution may be to do my shopping exclusively on-line.  If I look at a picture (and there is free shipping, of course) I somehow muster the strength to put it in my cart and click “Place Order”.  If I dig deeper and sole search the psychological explanation for my ability to perform such a task the answer I come up with is dangerous….

I think I’m afraid to physically hand my money over.

“Fake” money (a.k.a. a credit card) doesn’t feel like as much of a commitment.  Right??


I want to defend myself just a little bit.  I do not go crazy.  I do not buy things that I can’t afford (unless we are talking about handbags, but that is for another therapy session) and I pay my bill in its entirety on the due date.

Now that I have divulged yet another neurotic and unflattering aspect of my personality, I’m off to scour the internet.  I hear that JCrew has an additional 30% off their sale items…………

Happy Shopping!

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