The proverbial pilgrimage to the outlet stores for "dirt cheap" prices that will blow your tits clear off and into another state.
At least that's what you've been told. But here's the kicker - all that shit you're fighting people for, or standing in long ass lines for, is available online. 365 days a year. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. You get the point. Also - the unique gifts, the ones people really want, are here, on the fucking internet.
Secondly, you're not saving anything. You're sacrificing your time, which is worth money, to stand in lines of traffic and lines of people that are double, maybe triple the time you're used to spending shopping. There's also the very real threat of never finding parking, someone hitting your vehicle and taking off, someone shoving you, verbal altercations, etc.
Listen, I love verbal altercations for entertainment purposes, but when YOU'RE the subject of said altercation, no thank you. I have far better things to do than to argue with a 40+ year old woman about the importance of her daughter getting a tickle-me-Elmo doll or whatever is popular now.
I also avoid going out in public to silence the very real possibility of thinking that I'm verbalizing an insult under my breath, but it turns out I said that shit pretty loud. My wife unit says that I do that ALL of the time. I think she's right but will never say that to her face.
The effort that you made just to keep the hope and excitement of Santa Claus alive in your home by buying that "perfect" gift at what you think is an absolute bargain is not what Christmas is about. Order that shit online son. Santa is fucking electronic now. Also, select the wrapping option at checkout and BOOM Christmas Eve is saved.
That's another thing I hate. Don't listen to any moron that tells you to wrap your gifts in Paw Patrol or Santa paper cause the kids will remember that shit. No, they will not remember any of that shit. Just select "gift wrap at checkout" and you have magically created more time to get trashed at your house making off color racist commentary the night before the sleigh gets parked on the roof and Santa drags his fat white ass down your chimney that hasn't been cleaned in 15 years.
The stress of this whole fuckery is THE WORST. If you have kids like I do, there needs to be a whole fucking room cordoned off for this crap where the kids can't go for a month. Like the dining room magically just got blown up and it doesn't exist anymore. Then everything has to be labeled as to whom it's for, from, and wrapped or unwrapped (cause Santa brought it). Also, if it's my house, the labels fall off because Post-It Brand is cheap with the glue they buy. Poof, there goes who that puzzle set was for, and oh, the wrong kid got the wrong gift and now Santa made a terrible error. I'm Santa by the way, and the person criticizing me is the female wife unit.
I end up doing all of this at 2am, getting frustrated, needing 20 procrastination breaks in-between all this shit, just so Boy 1 and Boy 2 can run down the stairs, play with it for 10 seconds, be told to keep track of it, never put it away, and eventually given to goodwill after 2 years of staring at it. The other real option is the gift is DESTROYED by the younger kid, who loses ALL of the pieces at once, makes the older kid annoyed, who proceeds to strike his brother with a blunt object, etc etc. You get it.
Meanwhile, the entire month has been spent looking for the largest time slot that will allow me to drink spiked Old New England eggnog, so that I can pretend to enjoy the holiday season a safe distance (mentally) away from crying children that refuse to behave (even for the ONE FUCKING MONTH) while Santa is watching.
I refuse for my love of the season to be sullied by the stress of the Holiday that retail sales has created for all of us. So, if I'm being serious, your kids will be happy as long as what they get is a loving home and to feel safe wherever they may be. Don't put added pressure on yourself and your finances, just know happiness is all your kids want.
If they were raised right - they'll accept anything as long as it's with the ones they love the most.
Merry Christmas. Merry Friggin Christmas.