Last-minute shoppers make lists to facilitate process

Dec. 24, 2012 @ 02:59 PM

Christmas shopping is not like everyday shopping, where we hit one or two stores in a day to grab a couple items, then casually go about our lives with the small satisfaction that we accomplished what we set out an hour earlier to do. No, Christmas shopping is not like everyday shopping.

When Christmas shopping, we make lists.

We're not shopping for ourselves like we normally do; we're shopping for other people. That's what the holiday is all about, after all, but with so many friends and family engender the need for "the list." Santa uses it, and so do we.

When asked about her shopping method, Jo Stokes of Seneca, S.C. simply said, "List."

She shops for four children, three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren, and "you have to have a list for that," she said.

"I stick to the list," said Jan Huskey of Sevierville. "I try to make a plan before I shop. I have three girls at home and have to hurry."

Hillary Joseph and Natalie Barrow of Anderson, S.C. also make lists before shopping.

"I try to decide what I think everyone needs and where I want to go, and then try to follow the lists," Joseph said.

When Christmas shopping, we procrastinate.

"I didn't want anyone to know I shopped at the last minute," said Huskey, exiting the Nike outlet store in Tanger Outlets.

She was shopping for her three daughters, and she'd just bought the last item on her list.

Stokes was looking for odds and ends in the same area. She'd done much of her shopping already, and she said she's usually finished by the middle of December, but she had a few more things on her list.

Others were not so lucky. Many declined to be interviewed as they swiftly moved on with four or five bags in hand, saying, "Sorry, in a hurry."

Yet some, like Joseph and Barrow, serve as a model for the rest, completing almost all of their Christmas shopping early, leaving time to shop for themselves.

"I tried to get my stuff done before I went on vacation so I could relax," Barrow said. "It would stress me out."

rhargett@themountainpress.com