Are You a Pre-crastinator Rather than a Procrastinator?

 It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in the U.S., so Americans are focused on…

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!! (A mall in Toronto actually; photo by Benson Kua, Wikimedia Commons)

While everybody else is gearing up, I’m done. I finished my Christmas shopping last Friday. Now before you decide to hate me, let me point out that my goal of being finished all yuletide acquisitions by December 1st is not necessarily coming from the healthiest of motivations.

There really isn’t a word for what I am. I’m the opposite of a procrastinator. Some people might say that I’m organized, or even disciplined. I am definitely organized. Not so sure about disciplined. Better descriptors for it might be obsessive-compulsive or even control freak! 🙂

Procrastinators put things off for psychological reasons. The task makes them anxious. They’re afraid of screwing it up, so they avoid dealing with it until the very last minute.

I am the opposite for equally neurotic reasons. I am afraid that something will go wrong if I wait too long. That somehow I won’t get it done on time. The thought of that makes me so anxious that I want to do it RIGHT NOW. Get it done and then I know everything is okay!

So I start my Christmas shopping in early October. My brother and I usually go on an all-day shopping binge trip, hitting at least two or three major stores. Now you might think this odd that my brother goes with me. Before you revoke his man card, let me point out that he does so in the hope that I will find things for him to buy for everybody in the family. And I usually do. I am a shopper extraordinaire. If I could figure out how to make a living from shopping…

But I digress. Once I’ve got a big chunk of my holiday shopping done on that trip, do I relax and cruise along, picking up a few things here and there? After all, I’ve got over two months.

Heck no! Once I get started, I want to get it done!

Afraid that I will forget someone, I make a list of everything I’ve got and who I still need some things for. Then I start methodically nailing down those final purchases.

I mentioned last week that I was going to my church’s Holiday Bazaar. We have a wonderful bunch of women (they call themselves the bazaar ladies, and yes the double meaning is intentional) who work throughout the year to make all kinds of gorgeous craft items–wreaths, jewelry, decorated baskets, ornaments, paintings, placemats, baked goods… just about anything imaginable related to Christmas or that would make a good gift. The prices are good, and the proceeds (95-100% of what we pay) goes to help the homeless in our town!

Going into the Bazaar I usually only have a few people left to buy for. This year, I got them all covered. Here’s my haul:

A wreath for my bird-watching friend, Doris (look close; you’ll see the birdies); some luscious-smelling potpourri for JJ; a necklace for Alice; a little something extra for the hubs (even though I thought I was done for him); a cute little felt bag to put a gift card in and… Voila, I’m done!

How about you? Are you a pro-crastinator or a pre-crastinator? When do you usually do your holiday shopping?

Oh, and by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

(Seriously, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I certainly have lots to be thankful for this year.)

 Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.


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  • Reply
    Pat O'Dea Rosen
    November 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I would hate you, Kassandra, but your explanation of pre-crastination shows that you’re as cursed as moi. I’ve got a mental block that keeps me from holiday shopping before December 1. Yes, I worry I won’t get it all done.

    Your brother’s a smart guy, and, despite my self-imposed no-shopping-before-Dec-1- rule, I might break it to tag along with a “shopper extraordinaire.” If you’re ever in Texas in October, give me a shout.

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      November 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      I’m so glad you don’t hate me, Pat. And next time I’m in Texas I’d love to go shopping with you. Even if it’s in August, we can still go. It’s never too early to start Christmas shopping. 🙂

  • Reply
    shannon esposito
    November 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Well, I shop in my head early and figure out what I want to get everyone, but don’t get around to actually buying it until December. It’s sort of like plotting, isn’t it? lol Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone who stops by here! xoxo

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      November 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      LOL It is like plotting. Never thought of it that way. Hope you have a great Turkey Day, Shannon!

  • Reply
    Lynette M. Burrows
    November 22, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Hate you? No way! Envy. Deep, deep envy. I hate shopping . . . hate the crowds (even before Christmas), hate the I know what I want but can’t find it, parking, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving presents. it’s the shopping. The internet helps bunches!

    Have a great holiday, Kassandra!

  • Reply
    Marcy Kennedy
    November 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Depending on the project, I’ve been both. But I’m much more a pre-crastinator like you. It actually reduces my anxiety to get things done so far in advance that people mock me.

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    November 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks, Lynette. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. I made myself stay off social media all day. Fingers got itchy but it was relaxing.

    I know exactly what you mean about the crowds and parking and such. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the stores turn into zoos. That is the serendipity of being a pre-crastinator. I’m done before the chaos begins!

    Marcy, they may mock us but we get the last laugh when they’re running around frantic at the last minute. 😉

  • Reply
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