Christmas shopping is one of the more stressful things in life, mainly because of all the traffic and people you have to encounter while doing it. This year, I discovered one of the best ways to do my shopping. Just simply take a vacation day.

I am a procrastinator at heart which means that I always seem to do my Christmas shopping at the last possible minute. This makes for bad gift decisions and an overall experience that stresses me out to the max. Plus, you have to deal with a crowd of people who seem to have no manners.

This year I decided to do some things different. I took a vacation day off from work for the sole reason of doing my Christmas shopping. And, boy, did it ever pay off! I have no idea why I never thought of this before. I guess because I am a little slow.

Yesterday, (December 16th) I woke up, did a little work from home, then was out the door to start my shopping by 11am. Four hours later (which included an hour stop to get my oil changed and inspection done on my truck), I was done! I hit the Mall of Abilene, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and a few other stores. Everywhere I went, there were hardly any shoppers at all. So, needless to say, I was in and out of each store within minutes, instead of hours. I didn't have to deal with grumpy people, wait in line, or worry about someone taking the gift I was going to buy. And, since there were not many people out, I was able to get help anytime I needed it.

Yep, taking that vacation day was definitely one of my better ideas (I don't have many of them). Granted, I still got a late start on my shopping this year, but I got it all done and I still have my sanity.

So, if you have vacation days left at your work, I highly recommend taking one of those bad boys to get your Christmas shopping done next year. I know I'll be doing it again next year.

Do you have any Christmas shopping tips you'd like to share? Drop off a comment below and let us know.

In the meantime, enjoy this 'Jingle All The Way' movie clip which shows the dangers of doing your Christmas shopping when everybody else does.

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