Last Minute Shopping - Help Me Stop the #Holiday Madness!

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas shopping. Part of me LOVES checking out the malls around the holidays. I think, partly, because I spent so much time working in one as a teen and I get a little bit nostalgic. I remember stocking shelves to the sound of Wham! wailing about "Laaaaaaast Christmas" -- Oh man, I'd be lying if I said I don't still love that song! And part of me can't stand dealing with the hoards of people and their shopping carts and screaming babies and determined looks while grabbing the last of "the good stuff" from the shelves before someone else gets it. Argh! I've been bumped into and run over in Walmart more times than I care to remember, and have since become one of those super late night Walmart holiday shoppers to avoid the insanity. Actually, I've come to develop a little bit of a Christmas shopping ritual. Here's how it works:

I am the QUEEN of last minute shopping. I'd like to say that I am organized and start with the buying way ahead of time, like a good Mom should do, but...I'm not. Like most people, I make my list and check it twice. Then, I can only guess unlike most people, I usually don't follow it at all. I get to the mall (usually between the 20th and the 23rd of December) in a super happy mood, head to the lockers and dump my winter coat -- highly recommend doing this!! - and then I get down to business. I prefer going without my kids in tow, because the baby stroller is a huge, cumbersome pain in those tiny stores. After that I make my way around, picking up items, finding NEW items to add to my list, and blowing an obscene amount of cash. Usually a few hours later, I'm completely worn out and quite frankly starting to get dizzy and shaky from not eating. (This happens to me EVERY year, it's probably a medical condition that I should have checked out. Maybe I'll throw that on my to-do list for 2013?)  So... I head to A&W for a Teen Burger. It HAS to be A&W for a Teen Burger, because I started that fun little ritual when I was young and it's become one of my own little Christmas traditions. I'm not sure I've ever told anyone about it!  It's a little bit embarrassing!  I sit and eat my Teen Burger, and I people watch and I re-check my list, going over who I still need to shop for and what stores to visit next. Once I'm finished, I haul myself back into the madness with my 8 million shopping bags, and spend, spend, spend.

It's crazy and it's fun and it's horrible all at the same time, lol. So what am I going to do about it? Nothing. I'm actually looking forward to this silly little routine in the next few weeks. All of that being said, I will GLADLY accept any tips you might have on how to get organized when it comes to gift buying. Do you buy all year round? How do you keep track of your spending? Help out this last minute Momma!

Oh. And just because I'm feeling all sentimental now... I'll leave you with this: