The Expectation Vs Reality Of Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

Last-minute Christmas shopping: It’s inevitable.

There’s always that impossible person or one little thing you forgot that you must get last-minute. Sometimes that package from Amazon doesn’t actually arrive in time or ends up not being as pictured. Or, maybe you just fail and didn’t bother to do any shopping at all until you absolutely had to.

Regardless of how you end up out in traffic that Saturday before or plowing through the aisles at Target on Christmas Eve, we all know how we think that last-minute shopping will go down… and then we’re smacked with the reality of just how torturous the task really is.

The Drive

Expectation: You know there will be lots of cars out on the road, but you assume everyone will be calm, collected, and in the holiday spirit.

Reality: It’s worse than you ever imagined, there’s a minimum of 2 accidents, and people are honking at every traffic light.

The Hunt For A Parking Spot

Expectation: You’ll be able to just snag a spot in the back of the lot and get in your exercise.

Reality: There’s no spots. At all.  People have resorted to parking in the grass and fire lanes.

The Shopping Adventure Itself

Expectation: You’ll enjoy the holiday music filling the store and skip down the aisles as you grab those last few gifts.

Reality: You realize just how little shopping you’ve actually done and you are still pissed off from the 30 minute parking lot ordeal. It’s time to get in, fill ‘er up, and get the hell out.

The Struggle To Find That Last Item

Expectation: That gift for your impossible to buy for family member will magically appear on an end cap or holiday deal stack out.

Reality: Your feet hurt and you literally don’t care anymore, so gift cards again it is!

The Checkout Lanes

Expectation: It’ll be busy, but you’ll find a sweet old lady to chat with while you wait. She will share some coupons and you’ll make out better than expected.

Reality: That item you thought was on sale was in the wrong spot, you ended up with way more than you needed, and suddenly the total is hundreds of dollars.

Last-minute shopping isn’t just a buzzkill on the holiday spirit, it’s absolute torture at best. By the time you make it home (probably in tears), you make a promise to yourself that next year will be different. But is it ever?

Feature Image via Screengrab from “Jingle All The Way”


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