The 20 Emotional Stages Of Holiday Shopping, Because Decking The Halls Can Be Seriously Traumatic

I love Christmas. My family teases me that I was probably an elf in a past life, or should become a permanent resident of "Whoville," because I'm seriously obsessed with the holiday. I also love shopping (obviously). You would think that combining the two would result in all kinds of epic amazingness, but you would be wrong, my friend. Holiday shopping is an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. The kind you come off of vomiting, not smiling (but that could also be from all the Cinnabons I ate at the food court. Whoops).

Between Black Friday's obscene early hours and fighting my way through the herd of people at the mall, Christmas shopping is less leisure and more hardcore workout. Neither my mind or my body are really up for the challenge. But none-the-less, every year without fail, I psych myself up thinking I'm going to enjoy it and put myself through the anxiety again. I guess it just wouldn't be the holidays without some deeply traumatizing experience. So if you feel anything like I do, here are some of the emotional stages you may experience while engaging in your holiday shopping.

1. It's Christmas!

Deck the halls! Trim the Tree! Turn up the Christmas music! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

2. Oh, Crap — It's Christmas.

What do you mean we're halfway through December?! I haven't even made a dent in my holiday shopping.

3. The Formulation of a Plan

Over the river and through the woods — to the mall I go!

4. False Confidence

Obviously, I'm going to dominate.

5. Checking The List

Mom, dad, brother, best friend, other friends x 8, work peeps, random acquaintance from yoga (what? we're actually exchanging gifts?). SCRATCH THAT. Mom, dad, brother. Here we go.

6. Checking The Price Tag

I found the perfect gift for my dad. He's been saying he wanted a pair of loafers, and these leather ones are totally him. They're classic, they look comfortable, they're... EXPENSIVE. I'd rather not sacrifice buying food for the next month to pay for these. Sorry, Dad.

7. Time To Head Somewhere Cheaper

Let's just leave the fancy department stores for a bit. I can find the same thing for way less money.

8. Braving The Zoo

It's a stampede. I'm legit in the middle of the African sahara right now, being trampled by all kinds of animals masquerading as humans. The fancy stores were at least tame. I'm outsies.

9. Score!

I got one! It was cheap, I didn't get elbowed in the ribs, and the line at the check-out wasn't even that long. But it's... a candle. Come on, Sienna. You can do better.

10. Aimlessly Walking From Store To Store

Seriously though, what do you get for the person who has everything?

11. Filtering Through The Crap

Does anyone need a coffee table picture book that they no doubt will unwrap and never read? Is it really worth spending $25 on patterned socks?

12. That Damn Christmas Music

TURN IT OFF. If I have to listen to "Hear Comes Santa Claus" one more time I will go absolutely nuclear.

13. Hanger

Food break. I've probably burned like a million calories on this little expedition.

14. A Little Something For Myself

OK, I get that I'm supposed to be buying other people presents right now, but this top is so cute, and I can't help that I haven't found anything people would like/want/need...

15. Exasperation

Shopping for boys is impossible. Everything that's marketed for them they wouldn't want, and everything they would want, they already have. Does he need another wallet? How about a second iPod? Ray Bans? Got him that last year. DAMN IT.

16. Becoming Easily Distracted

Oh, free samples? Don't mind if I do. Is that a One Direction song I hear? What time is it? Maybe I should head back to the food court in a bit...

17. Checking My Reserves

My wallet is somehow almost empty, even though I've seemingly bought nothing. This place is a money pit.

18. Realizing The Spirit Of Christmas

Christmas is not about presents. My love and company is gift alone.

19. & Quickly Shattering That Delusion

Get real. We live in a consumerist society. Holidays are all about the presents.

20. Surrender

I don't have it in me to continue. I'm physically tired, I'm emotionally drained, I've eaten my way through the mall but am somehow still starving. Time to go home, turn on Scandal, and revert to last minute online shopping. I mean, they always have a larger selection online anyway. I'll find things, NBD. I can't wait to see what everyone got me..

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