xmasChristmas is six days away and I bought my first gift yesterday. This is an improvement over Chanukah, when my last minute shopping was even worse: everything purchased on the day the holiday began.

I have not always been this much of a flake.

I was not a huge procrastinator when I was young. I carried a DayRunner and I used it — but my memory was so good back then that the mere act of writing something down ensured that I would remember. I rarely needed to look up the phone numbers of my family and friends; I just knew them.

Of course, I was a single woman, with only myself and a cat to look after. My job was basically nine to five. Even after I purchased my first computer, my time online was mostly social and finite (you paid for access by the minute back then and the cost was exorbitant). The things I needed to do on a day to day basis were fairly manageable and did not spill over to the following week – or month. I met my deadlines. I got things done.

I am not like that any longer. I have stopped creating daily to-do lists because after the first five or six tasks that I HAVE to accomplish on any given day I feel so overwhelmed that I want to curl into a fetal position and cry. So I typically begin my day with a plan to tackle the squeakiest of all my competing squeaky wheels… until I crash right into a whole ‘nother automobile with a couple of flats.

All right, ┬áso that was a stupid analogy; proof I’ve been spending too much time writing automotive posts and not enough on taking care of business. For example: I began writing this post at 8:14 AM… until I remembered I had to get an invoice in to a client (so I could get paid before the year ends!), that we had a new blog action at MOMocrats that needed to be disseminated, that I had agreed to participate in a social media campaign to stop the violence – oh, and there was laundry and dishes and pets to be cared for, too.

Chanukah finished on Saturday. I was proud that I removed the menorah on Sunday morning and placed it near the sink so I could clean it — where it still sits. There is a stack of Christmas cards on the dining room table, just waiting for me to address and send. It’s silly to do that in the morning, when my brain is freshest for the kind of focus I need to write — right? That’s the kind of task I can do at night, when I’m relaxing in front of the TV. But still, they sit.

And then there’s the tree. My husband and daughter trimmed it over the weekend, and it looks nice but beneath it, there are no gifts. I need to do some shopping for my daughter, my husband, my nieces and American nephew. Buying gifts for the British nephews is always problematic. I mentioned this to my husband two weeks ago, but did I act on it? Of course not. Part of the problem is that they are not little kids any longer, and the distance means we don’t see them very often, so figuring out what they would like isn’t easy. There always seem to be issues with customs when sending something from the US, and even though Internet commerce makes shopping overseas easier in theory, in practice it’s not what you’d think. UK-based companies won’t accept payment with a US credit card. In fact, the only one we’ve found that will accept our orders is Amazon. I’m pretty tired of sending the boys gift vouchers from Amazon.co.uk, but so far, I have not found a solution. So if they are reading this (which I doubt!), they can count on receiving our usual Christmas greetings.

It’s 11:30 now. Once this post is finished, I’ll try to get a little more of that shopping in. But I’m not hopeful. I cannot handle crowds and the longer I wait to hit the stores, the faster I will want to get out of there.

Oh well. There is always tomorrow.

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