I usually don’t feel panicked this time of year. There is always plenty of time and I can usually catch on to something and get it before anyone notices. If you are confused about what I am talking about, I am looking at the idea of Christmas shopping.

As a father, I am always looking at things I can get my son and daughter for Christmas. My daughter is the typical preschool age kid — something comes on TV, another “I want that for Christmas.” I kind of enjoy hearing this because it reminds me of when I was a child. I would see something on TV and I would let my parents know that this was an item they could purchase for me for Christmas.

My son, on the other hand, he flat out told me that he “doesn’t know what he wants” for the holiday. He is a kindergartner. I had to make sure that he wasn’t replaced by a robot as this seemed unusual to me. He has a few things that he is really in tune with and, outside of getting him things that are typical, I am at a loss.

I went to Walmart last evening before heading back to work to just wander the toy, electronics and book aisles. I saw 20 different things that my daughter had pointed out or mentioned, but nothing that really stood out for my son. Am I putting too much stress on myself to get him the perfect gift?

The idea of becoming hard to shop for is something that is supposed to happen in their teenage years. I remember getting asked this question when I was 16-years-old by my parents. I don’t even remember what I got that year but I do know that my mom and dad put forth the effort to make sure I was happy.

So the race is on to try to purchase Christmas gifts without having the pressure of last minute shopping. I went to Fargo yesterday just to see if I could find a few items that aren’t available at our Fergus Falls stores (FYI, I have perused many of the shops in the area and I shop local more often than not, so my final purchases are predominantly in town). I am still in search of several items to put under the Christmas tree including something special for my wife, a few more gifts for my kids and something that I can get those in the office.

One thing that is possible to adopt is what my mother used to do. She would require that I make a list for her at the end of September of items that I would like for Christmas. This gave her enough time to save to buy presents and to get them before they run low.

But who am I kidding, it is too late now! The scramble is on and my face is turning redder than an apple as the stress continues to pile on. I would say that I need a vacation but the one day that I did take for vacation I found myself rummaging through discount bins looking for cheap stocking stuffers and “tease” gifts.

One person I can mark off my list is my mother. I found two great items to get her. These purchases were accidental in nature as I was looking at a store for my son and stumbled upon something that was more up my mom’s alley. I guess it is nice to check at least one person off the list at this point in the game, but I still have at least eight more to go.

In the end, I hope that everyone likes what I eventually will get them for Christmas. I may not have made the items, but I put in a lot of hard work trying to find something a little more meaningful this year. Well, until next time — keep your stick on the ice! (One of my favorite sayings from “The Red Green Show.”)

Zach Stich is the managing editor at The Fergus Falls Daily Journal. His column appears each Thursday.

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