Are you one of those people who has every single present wrapped and labeled by Thanksgiving, or are you a die-hard last-minute holiday shopper? If you're one of those people who's already finished your holiday shopping, you’re not alone. A quarter of shoppers ages 18 to 35 are already done with their holiday shopping, according to Retail Leader, with 40 percent of consumers overall crossing off their lists by Amazon Prime day. And it turns out your holiday shopping habits might reveal something about your personality.
Dr. Gary Small, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, tells Bustle it’s typically a person’s level of conscientiousness that determines how quickly they get their holiday shopping done each year.
“Conscientious people are prompt, organized, and efficient … and would likely be ahead of the game when it comes to holiday shopping,” Dr. Small tells Bustle. “Less conscientious individuals would be likely to put off errands like holiday shopping.” Dr. Small says early-shoppers like to plan for the future and are efficient at getting things done, but they have to be careful about focusing too much on the future so those thoughts don’t stress them out.
“The holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy family and friends,” says Dr. Small. “Such stress disrupts their abilities to plan ahead and benefit from their otherwise conscientious personality trait.”
In other words, don't let your tendency to plan everything out make you stress over every detail. Plan what you can, but let yourself enjoy the fruits of your labor. After all, the holidays are all about enjoying time with the people closest to you.
Sahara Rose, health coach, spiritualist, and Ayurveda expert, agrees with Dr. Small’s assessment, but she uses different language to talk about the different personality types. Rose calls people who get their holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving Pitta (fire) Doshas, which is an Ayurvedic mind-body type. “Pitta people love to get things done ahead of time and operate on a schedule,” Rose tells Bustle. “Time efficiency is super important for them, and they probably do all their holiday shopping online to save themselves from the hassle of the shopping mall.”
Conversely, a Vata (air) person would probably wait until after Thanksgiving to go shopping because Vata people prefer to just go with the flow, Rose tells Bustle. And Vatas are more likely to get creative with their gifts, says Rose, getting crafty or personalizing something. “Pittas tend to have a set budget for their holiday shopping and stick to it,” Rose tells Bustle. “Vatas spend the least because they get so crafty with their gifts, which is time-intensive instead.”
But your personality type is only part of the equation when it comes to how soon you do your holiday shopping. Nasdaq says the days when people waited until Black Friday to do their holiday shopping are pretty much over, with 70 percent of shoppers surveyed saying they’re starting their shopping in September and October. The holiday shopping season use to be pretty well-defined — starting after Thanksgiving through the holidays — but is now this really nebulous cycle that kind of starts with Amazon Prime Day in July, according to Retail Leader, and then ebbs and flows as retailers try to one-up each other with better and better deals, says Nasdaq.
So if you're already done with your holiday shopping, you're probably a deal-hunting, conscientious Pitta. If you're waiting a few more weeks, you're more of a go-with-the flow Vata who's not so worried about those big-ticket deals.