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This Is What Moms Think While Christmas Shopping…

Holiday shopping. Every year, it’s left to the moms. Well, usually. I pass off a few things to my husband, but generally, I do the lion’s share of our Christmas shopping. I don’t much like shopping in huge crowds, so I’m not a Black Friday frequenter—but here’s to you, Cyber Monday!

Each year, when I’m going through the list of our family members and close friends who we like to get gifts for, I have a series of thoughts that go through my mind… I’ll let you in on my secret questions.

1. Do my kids all have the same number of gifts?
My kids aren’t old enough to be counting their presents quite yet, but I definitely look at the piles and see if there’s a significant difference. I know it’s the thought that counts, and that quality is better than quantity, but if my boys have huge piles of presents on Christmas morning, and my daughter only has a couple of things, you better believe she’s going to notice and say something.

2. Now where did I stash that gift?
I’ve got this issue of hiding things from the kids… and myself. I start taking advantage of sales on websites like Zulily in September or so (yes, I’m one of those), so I have to use the top shelf of several closets to keep the kids from finding their presents too early. I get bonus points because I have a son with a birthday three days after Christmas, so I’m hiding his birthday gifts as well.

3. What’s the point of getting anything for my kids?
They are blessed with four living grandparents, all of whom spoil them with gifts and clothes and special time together. My kids are too young to remember who bought them which gift, and so I’m a little jaded about getting them anything from just me and their dad. They’ll have plenty of presents to open even if I buy them nothing. And hey, everything comes in those cardboard boxes they love!

4. Oh, but she’d love to have this, too!
I’m so guilty of over-buying for some of our people. When I find more than one thing that’s just perfect for someone, I want to get them all! I love giving good gifts—maybe because it’s not something I’m particularly good at. I find the perfect thing (or five) and I want to get it!

5. Why does anyone need this junk anyway?
All those gift kits of men’s “boutique” toiletries, women’s “specialist” manicure supplies, or a box set of cheap, miniature Marvel characters for little boys…does anyone like them? What about those department store “free gifts” when you spend a certain amount? What’s even in those things? Usually junk, right? It looks nice all wrapped up, but who actually needs it?

Holiday shopping. Every year, it’s left to the moms. Well, usually…

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6. I can’t remember whether I bought that person something…
Since I’m often an early shopper, I sometimes forget when I’ve bought someone something. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve got several little spots I hide things, and I frequently spend about a week before Christmas re-finding them.

7. Is this outfit going to fit?
I don’t know about you but every time I’m in a store looking at clothes to buy for Christmas or birthdays I immediately forget what size my child wears, or what they even look like. I hold up a pair of pants (you know, the kind I fold 10 of each day) and I can’t tell if they’ll fit my two-year-old or my five-year-old. You call it lack of spacial reasoning, I call it holiday brain freeze.

8. Have I eaten today?
During the holidays, I’m so overwhelmed with cleaning my house (because I’m usually a host of something or another), cooking something, baking something, grocery shopping, or gift shopping that I totally neglect myself. I tend to forget to eat, shower, exercise, and do pretty much anything except my chores, and collapse on the couch with a glass of wine when things finally slow down. So while I’m out in Target, checking items off my list, I often wonder, “Have I even eaten anything besides those samples at Costco?”

9. What in the world am I going to buy for him?
Typically, I’m asking this question about my husband. He’s the guy who just buys himself whatever it is he wants. I have to remind him a couple of months before Christmas to please, please just let me get it and wrap it. It won’t kill him to wait a couple of weeks for whatever it is, right?

10. I wonder who is shopping for me right now.
It’s not totally selfish to wonder whether anyone remembered ol’ Mom this Christmas, right?

I love everything about Christmas, but these semi-stressful thoughts usually run through my mind every December. Please, tell me I’m not the only one!

It’s not totally selfish to wonder whether anyone remembered ol’ Mom this Christmas, right?

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You’ll also like 9 Ways to Give the Gift of Experiences to Your KidsAre You Grumpy or Just Neglecting Yourself?How I Find Time for Me (Even As a Mom)All of the Ridiculous Thoughts of Millennial Moms, and Dear SAHM: I See You and Want You to Know These 8 Things
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Whitney is a wife, mama of three, worship leader, extrovert, and writer. She also loves reading, running, music, community, mountains, and Jesus. Oh, and list-making.

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