We actually started thinking about Christmas earlier than usual this year. I normally have a mental block about shopping before Thanksgiving. It just does not seem like the right thing to do. However, when we went to Dallas last month we stopped at Ikea. That store has more gift ideas than you could ever use,so we started our shopping then. Then I refused to leave the house on Black Friday and shopped online. A few more gifts purchased, the rest was easy after that. The result has been that we are a lot less stressed and I think we have been pretty practical about our gift purchases.
However, that does not mean we won't submit to the temptations of last minute purchases. It is just the way we are.