Ok, men, it’s almost time! Get ready… get set… start your credit cards!  It’s finally time to begin your Christmas shopping!

Of course women have had their purchases all wrapped and under the tree for weeks, but there seems to be some form of genetic predisposition for men to procrastinate on this particular activity.

As a classic example, I site a certain male figure in the household of my youth. On Christmas Eve, mind you, with less than an hour until every store in our small town would close, he asked me to accompany him to do his Christmas shopping.

Curious, I went along. After walking up and down most of the nearly-empty aisles in the place, he strode confidently to the jewelry counter. “Your birthday’s in June, right?” he asked me. I nodded. He picked up three pairs of fake birthstone earrings: June, July and August. Those were the months my sister, my mother, and I were born.

“Good,” he breathed a sigh of relief, “that’s done.” As we walked to the check-out counter, he added, “Try to look surprised tomorrow morning.”

I was surprised all right. Somehow he’d managed to put the wrong tags on his gifts and I ended up with my sister’s earrings. I suppose he gets credit for wrapping them himself.

Now I fully admit that there are a few stellar exceptions to this stereotype. Those are the guys who are reading this column on December 23. The rest of them are out shopping.

God bless them, every one!