Welcome to the month of October. One of my favorite months of the year is October, not that I particularly dislike any of the other months, as they all have their shining, positive attributes. October brings a sort of 'gateway to winter' as it helps us transition into cooler weather, offering its' warm sunny days and introduces us once again to cool crisp nights.

October also features my wifes' birthday (and I'd better never forget it), Halloween, numerous beer festivals and more. But really, shouldn't one of the most important things on the list for October be, the countdown to Christmas and recognition of the dwindling number of shopping days left to avoid total and complete Chrstimas shopping failure?

Courtesy of Warehouse Theatre Company

There are only 85 shopping days left until Christmas 2020 and I have to believe that this Christmas, from the purely secular/commercial standpoint, is going to be big business. I'm predicting that we all feel, like the popular Christmas song says: 'We Need A Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute'! COVID and political fatigue add up to needing to look forward to celebration with family and friends, even if from 6 feet away.

Photo by: Brian Stephenson

Are you an early shopper? I never used to be. I always found myself scrambling around on Christmas Eve, endeavoring to find good deals while still picking out 'just the perfect gift'. Frankly, I doubt that I ever succeeded and boy was it always stressful. So, some years back I adopted a plan. The plan is to set a reminder for myself (these days that's easy with our electronically enhanced lives) to begin the process in October - still plenty of time to acquire ideas for the people on my list, no stress, and the beginning of seeing some early-shopper deals. Even if I don't get really crackin' until November, I still have plenty of time.

TSM/Gunner

Interestingly though, most Americans don't set-up such strategies. According to Statista.comlast year, 69% of Americans were leaving their Christmas shopping until December, with over 50% still shopping right up until the big day. Sometimes the deals are worth the wait and I'm certain not all who wait until then are without a plan, but for those who create stress for themselves and wind-up bringing home less-than-stellar gifts, my message is -- it doesn't have to be that way.

In case I'm on your list, a nice bottle of good Scotch and a few fine cigars. Thank you.