Exactly when last minute Christmas shopping begins nobody really knows, but we know it's got to be close so here is the best advice for last minute Christmas shoppers in Grand Junction.

The holiday season is a happy time for most people - but even for the cheeriest of people it can be a very stressful time as well. Nothing can ruin a holiday or a good time like stress.

So, what is it that is causing the stress? In many cases, it's last minute Christmas shopping that causes so many people to dive into a holiday tailspin. But, I think it's a little deeper than that.

It's not necessarily the shopping itself that is causing the stress and the buying of gifts. Yes, we do start to feel the pressure of the time crunch as Christmas Day approaches, but I don't thing that's it either.

The #1 cause of stress during last minute Christmas shopping, in my opinion, is that we are in too big of a hurry.

For starters, we struggle to get where we are going because of additional traffic that is headed the same place we are. We deal with stoplights, slow moving traffic, and congestion. How desperately we want to get to that shopping destination, but it feels like we are trudging through a mud pit in the Everglades.

We reach the store, but then the issue is parking. Most people want to park as close to the door as possible, but to score such a spot you have to have perfect timing and luck. We're looking for that prime spot, only to find heartache and disappointment which further delays our arrival inside the store where those last-minute bargains are calling our name.

Finally, we are in the store only to find the aisles congested with like-minded shoppers, and they always seem to congregate right in the aisle where you need to be.

When  you finally make the decision on what to buy and hurry to the check out line,  you are met with more gloom and despair. The line looks to be at least a half-block line. You've got to get home and get supper started, little Matilda needs to get to ballet practice, and you've got to gas up before you can make it all the way home.

No wonder last- minute shoppers get stressed. So, here's the best advice I can give you. Take a deep breath, slow down, and relax.

It makes sense the less hurried you are, the more relaxed you are and the less stressed you'll be.

Forget about fixing dinner. Just plan to pick up some fried chicken on the way home.

As for traffic, parking, and line-waiting - just know that it's going to be riotous and so plan on it taking a long time. If you think you can do last minute Christmas shopping fast, you will be sadly mistaken.

Avoid setting false time deadlines that don't really matter and only serve to feed your stress-ometer. Expect traffic congestion and don't be in a hurry. I guarantee you will reach your destination.

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