Every year you tell yourself it's going to be different, and yet every year you find yourself stomping your way through an overheated department store with no idea how you've ended up in this situation yet again.
Having left it too late to avail of any online services, you resign yourself to a stress-filled, anxiety-ridden day spent barging into other last-minute shoppers who have no time for you or your lack of planning. And let's be honest, you've hardly got time for theirs, either.
If you are a bonafide last-minute merchant, you'll know all too well the highs and lows of that infamous festive dash through the city's crowded streets.
Let's take a look, shall we?
1. The constant de-robing
Pulling your gloves on and off while frantically loosening your scarf is par for the course when you're dashing in and out of different stores every 15 minutes.
You convince yourself you'll make it to the next destination without having to wrap up, only to realise you have a chance of losing your fingers if you don't actually stop and stuff your fingers into some damp wool.
And the cycle continues.
2. The lack of familial knowledge
In the midst of Christmas mania, you tend to forget every single thing about your family which may help you actually choose a present.
Can your dad read? Does your mam have any interest in film? What's your brother's name?
You know, that kinda thing.
3. The lack of interest
Yes, your stressed face may suggest you're absolutely desperate to land on the perfect present for a chosen loved one, but only you know how little you actually care.
Of course you have no desire to leave them empty-handed on the big day, but whether they'll truly love the gift is, at this stage, kind of beside the point.
You need something to wrap, and damn it, you're going to find it on this shelf.
4. The 3 for 2 hell
In theory, it sounds amazing, but in reality it just forces you into another level of hell, as you desperately try to match what's on offer with a member of your circle.
And as always, you'll only find an item suitable for a person you've already bought something for.
But you just can't so no to a bargain… even if it's not a bargain.
5. The random ache
Whether it's a gnawing pain in your lower pack, a pinched heel from your winter boots or a throbbing headache from the heat and the crowds, you will not make it through this day without at least one painkiller.
And, as we all know, that painkiller may as well have been thrown over your shoulder for all the good it will do.
6. The frantic phone call
If you haven't stood in the middle of a store and held up everyone around you while you made a frantic phone call home, you're a mere novice when it comes to a last-minute dash.
Demanding to know what your family members like and what they already own is a classic stage in the sh*tshow that is the seasonal shopping trip.
Hanging up in frustration is also par for the course.
7. The nagging financial worry
You know you need to buy these presents and you know there's no way around it, and yet you can't shake off the nagging financial worry and simply embrace the season.
With every tap of your card, your stomach folds itself into a bigger knot as you imagine what your statement is going to look like in January.
You may have ticked someone off your list, but ironically, all it has given you is further anxiety.
And the worst part? You know you'll endure all of this again next time around, Why? Because you never learn.