Do you have ‘present paralysis?’

Trying to find the perfect gift is enough to make some of us lose our grip

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

UTKellyColumn copyAs much as I love to shop, I find purchasing gifts at Christmastime absolutely exhausting. I have a tendency to overthink things and this leads to “present paralysis.” I am the girl walking around the store with a cart filled to the brim on lap one and then, as I make my way to the register, I slowly remove 80% of my items. (I’m sure the employees at Target have my picture up on the bullseye in their staff break room.)

I hold out hope that I will stumble across the PERFECT gift. The problem? I don’t know what the perfect gift IS. I suppose I’m searching for the one special thing that will cause a gasp and a big, bright smile. It doesn’t have anything to do with price. It’s more about remembering an obscure comment, mentioned in passing, that someone would never expect for you to remember.

Christmas 2014I do seem to have more success shopping online. I still torture myself with indecisiveness and second guessing but manage to click “send to cart” a little bit easier. I also appreciate not having to drive anywhere and wait in long lines of frustrated people. Because, we are all in the same boat, right? Everyone is scurrying about with a frazzled, exasperated look and panicked sense of time.

My younger son prefers to send me as close to the edge as possible by requesting the latest Jordan basketball shoe as his “one and only present that he really, really wants” – this is so not true, but we’ll go with it.

Anyway, Michael Jordan, with his infinite wisdom and business savvy, has parents all over this land sitting catatonic in front of a computer screen waiting for the (miniscule) chance to buy a pair of his shoes. Two hundred dollars later, I don’t know if I feel a sense of accomplishment or defeat!

But, I will achieve the smile I was hoping for…and, for that, I am happy.

Good luck in these final four days of shopping. I’d like to think that I have armed you with a plethora of gift giving ideas over the course of this year.

Happy Holidays!

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