I have a problem.  A costly problem.

Every year, I pride myself on the fact that all of my holiday shopping is done by the first week in December.

I have a meticulous checklist that gets updated every year so that I don’t forget anyone or repeat gifts.  Seriously.  Sometimes a gift idea is so good, I think it up again the next year only to realize it was the brilliant idea I had the year before.  I’m obsessed with giving people gifts.  There’s nothing like giving someone a present.  If I could afford it, I would buy everyone presents frequently.  But I can’t, so I wait for holidays.

And so the shopping gets done.  And I tell people, “My shopping is done.”

But the problem is that it’s the beginning of December, and there are mega sales in stores, and daily deals on the internet, and cute little boutiques I pass while walking around the neighborhood.  I get more brilliant ideas, and I get so caught up in the spirit of the season that I just want to keep buying things for people even though they already have numerous gifts from me under various trees.  I see the perfect gift even though I already bought the perfect gift.  And then I see the perfect gift again.

I’m pretty sure this is an illness.  It’s an illness that costs me at least twice as much as I should be spending on gifts.  Last year I told myself that I wasn’t going to do any shopping until December of this year in order to avoid this, but November came, and I started to panic.  I couldn’t possibly wait until after Thanksgiving to start shopping.  And now it’s December, and I’m done, but I’m still shopping.

I’m almost done wrapping, and I’ve decided that once the wrapping is done, I can no longer buy anything else.

Unless, of course, I see the perfect gift for someone I’ve already bought the perfect gift for.