I have a method to the way I Christmas shop, it tends to be one of the last weekends before Christmas, I have a list for all 11 family members to help guide me and keep me from getting distracted or forgetting anyone (terrible.. but there's a lot of them!). I prefer to be shopping exclusively for Christmas, I do not like having other things on my list because it just ends up distracting me.. And finally, I always would rather go by myself, this allows me to get in and out or mosey as long as I want to at each store. I love it because I end up spending the entire day thinking about my family, what Christmas will be like, the possible reactions they will have, the gifts they will love or react to the most, the laughter that will go with the explinations as to why I bought something or the story behind the wrapping... Then, I get really excited to wrap all the gifts and make them look perfect.
I also prefer to go by myself because I get less impatient by all the people rushing to get in lines and the last of whatevers to get the best deals... I find my blood pressure is always lower when I am by myself, and I have the chance to smile and say excuse me over and over... It is Christmas after all, why be a jerk about anything?
Once I have everything bought, I love to take an evening to wrap everything at once.. It usually takes me several hours because I decorate each gift making it its own special brand of perfect. I tend to have themes, sometimes they are clearly Christmas, other times they are just festive, and still other times they resemble modern decoration more than anything else. Everything tends to match, and, while I am sure my family appreciates my effort, the reality is I enjoy spending the couple hours to do this more than I think any of them like getting perfectly wrapped gifts. For me the presentation and the "wow, that looks perfect" is part of the excitement of opening all the gifts..
Not to mention, with the size our family is quickly growing to it tends to look like our Christmas tree had a volcanic eruption of gifts and they have flowed beyond the base of the tree like lava... haha The gifts to and from everyone literally take up half the living room.
Merry Christmas! May you find the reason for the joy of this season, and the truth about the birth of a precious baby that we celebrate.