Here’s my obligatory Scrooge post. Christmas shopping is supposed to be a boon for retailers since people are forced to buy things for others, under the auspices that you are giving gifts. But really you are just taking a stab at what you think other people want or need, and paying whatever price the retailer sets. It’s very lucky that there is competition because otherwise you would pay any outlandish request the retailer decides since the overriding priority is for perceived need.
It is in fact a very inefficient system, and results in unnecessary spending. If only it was clear what the true needs are (of which nothing is non-negligble), and there was sufficient time to find things on sale, then I would not be so disillusioned at “Christmas”. But can you imagine what color the retailers would be without these wastes?