When Dec. 23 rolls around and you haven't even begun your shopping, you are officially an 11th hour Santa.
Or, possibly, someone who doesn't value his marriage.
There are people, though, who wait until the last minute every year to do their Christmas shopping. They believe there will be unheard of bargains. Their theory is merchants will be so desperate to get rid of Christmas stock they will be able to name their own prices.
Our theory is they are going to have their choice of everything nobody else wanted.
But, there are folks who get a thrill out of this, people who like to live on the edge. So, here are our tips for those of you who are beginning your shopping today or tomorrow:
1. Accept the fact that your child's Teddy Bear is going to arrive under the tree with one ear. Most children's stuffed toys have two ears for at least the first three or four hours of ownership.
2. Do not assume that just because that last electronic goodie from Phil's House of Pods, Pads and Players has an on/off switch that said switch will turn the machine both on AND off. Practice taking the batteries out of it to get it to stop playing "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."
3. Never, ever buy a toy with a tag that boasts "Less lead paint than last year's model!"
4. Keep telling yourself - and your wife - that robes with a sleeve-and-a-half are stylish.
5. Even though the sales rep kept referring to your new computer as a "Peach," he didn't mean the manufacturer was an Apple subsidiary.
Possibly the best thing about purchasing all those items that "were not quite up to snuff" or "last minute bargains" is you don't have to worry about keeping the receipts. Nobody is going to take them back they can't believe you bought them in the first place.
Returns are a thing of the past if you buy a really shoddy gift.
So, good luck to all you bargain hunting elves. May the Ghost of Christmas Present take pity on you and guide you past the land of one-eared bears and lingerie seconds.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.