D.C. Diary: ‘Tis the season

Saturday, Dec. 1
Pentagon City
1 p.m.

I’ve gotten quite good at applying the art of procrastination to all I do, and Christmas shopping is no different. I’ve always wondered what was so urgent about running to the mall the day after Thanksgiving to begin the frenzied shopping. Why not just leave it until a few days before Christmas?

But this year was going to be different. On Saturday I decided to get a head start – although according to some, I’m already far behind – and went to Pentagon City to do some gift shopping.

Upon entering the mall and seeing thousands of other people trying to find gifts, I quickly remembered why I usually put this off. Although buying things for the people I love is enjoyable, I can do without this whole process. So, making my way through the crowds, I started to look for some fitting and affordable gifts.

It was clear that stores were ready for the holiday because Christmas decorations were everywhere. The sound of holiday music rang throughout the place. It was a bit strange doing Christmas shopping with the weather outside at almost 70 degrees, but the stage was definitely set for it.

It was encouraging to find that many stores had special sales. Some were in light of the approaching holiday; others were to bring business back to D.C. If clothes are the gift of choice, stores such as Aeropostale, the GAP, J Crew and many others all have marked down items. Of course, it is true that many of these items were overpriced before; so while it’s nice, the markdown doesn’t necessarily do much for the poor college student. Still, if time is not a problem, cheap items can be found.

Stores that specialize in gifts, cards and books may also be worth looking into. Some of the more popular ones include the Nature Company, the Museum Company and Chiasso.

Another idea, which may work for those that are hard to find the right gifts for is the mall-wide gift certificate. After a few hours of shopping and not making nearly as much progress as I would’ve liked, this idea was starting to look appealing.

For those that want to try their best to avoid the crowds at malls, Georgetown may be a better idea. That was the next stop after Pentagon City. Georgetown, too, seemed to have the Christmas crowd, but it was much more manageable than the one in Pentagon City.

Urban Outfitters had a wide variety to offer. For those unsure exactly what to buy for someone or even where to start, that’s probably a good place. There were a number of things there that helped me move down my list of more difficult people to shop for.

After spending some time there and in a couple of other stores in Georgetown, my early Christmas shopping experience for the day was over.

Although I’m not close to finished, some progress was definitely made. For those still searching for the perfect gifts but lacking money and time: not to worry, gifts will be found!

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