I am not one of those people who do their Christmas shopping early.
For the most part, my Christmas shopping takes place the week of or Christmas Eve - heck, I've been known to get up on Christmas day and head to the store in hopes of doing my shopping.
But I have learned some gifts, you can't wait.
Like several years ago, I thought I could wait until December to order Cole's gifts.
There weren't many, but I thought I could do it after the Black Friday/Cyber Monday hoopla was over.
Wrong. So wrong.
I went to order the items the first week of December only to find they were sold out.
I searched other sites - none there either.
I checked back repeatedly.
"I am so sorry," I began on Christmas morning. "They were sold out and I kept trying to find them..."
His little head hung low, his shoulders slumped.
"It's not your fault," he said. "I am grateful for the toys I got."
But they weren't what he wanted. They were substitutes for the few things he did want. His list hadn't been that long; I should have made sure I got them early.
This year, he has one thing on his list. Well, two, but I'm still trying to get his daddy to agree to a corgi.
He wants the new NES Classic Edition game player.
He saw it when they announced the launch months ago but it wasn't available until Nov. 11.
I sat up until midnight, trying to buy it. I checked every site Nintendo said would have it available.
I stayed up until 1:30 a.m., trying to find it. And it never went online.
The first thing I did when I got up a few hours later was check the sites to see if it was available.
Only to find they were sold out.
I was beyond disappointed.
"Mama, this was the only thing he wanted - I can't believe it's sold out."
"Can you get him one like it?"
"They don't have anything like it; it's like a reboot of the original NES, except it's preloaded with 30 games."
"Do they have a knock off version?" Mama asked.
"I'm not buying him a knock off NES, Mama."
"Well, it may be the only option and he would have what he wanted."
"He doesn't want a knock off. And I'm not pulling a Granny and the adoption doll incident."
Way back when I was a child, Xavier Roberts' Cabbage Patch dolls had just come out and all my friends were getting them. You could even get them with the yarn hair and eyes to match yours. Even though I had a strong aversion to regular dolls, I had to have one of these.
"This is all I want," I pleaded. "Just an adoption doll - you don't have to get me anything else!'
Granny called around trying to find me one.
"Them ugly things are $50 apiece. That's an awful lot for a dadblamed cloth doll stuffed with cotton and yarn hair," she declared.
"I want one!" I wailed.
"Good Lord, you ain't never liked a doll and now you want one of these? What in the devil is wrong with you?"
"Everyone else has one! I need one!"
My life, my world all depended on me getting an official Xavier Roberts Cabbage Patch adoption doll.
Christmas morning rolled around and under the tree was not one - but two-dolls; one with black yarn for my hair and another with yellow yarn hair.
I excitedly grabbed them up and squeezed them tightly. My very own adoption dolls. I flipped one over and yanked down her bloomers to see the official signature on the bottom.
But it wasn't there. It wasn't on the other one, either.
"Granny, something's wrong," I said.
"They're missing the signature on them. Do you have the papers?"
"The papers. The official adoption papers."
It was a rare occurrence but the old gal was silent.
I threw the dolls down and my head back just as dramatically to wail, "These are illegitimate adoption dolls! I've got illegitimate dolls! They are fake!"
"Let me tell you something - I got you two for the price of one. They are real and look just like them other ones. And that one's got eyeballs just like you!"
Granny even had her accountant, Ms. Frances, draw up some adoption papers to try to legitimize the dolls.
Why she thought someone who handled taxes and finances could draft adoption papers, I don't know, but she thought Ms. Frances could do everything.
I sat in her office, looked over the paperwork and declared they were still and always would be illegitimate.
"I don't want them," I said. "I am not even naming them."
And I didn't. I put the dolls away and didn't even play with them. I was so disappointed that they weren't the real thing, I couldn't even look at them.
I would have rather not had one, than to say I had two knock off adoption dolls.
"I don't think that was such a bad thing," she said.
"Of course you don't," I said. "You got me Cuga tennis shoes from Pic ‘N Pay once instead of Nike and didn't see the difference!"
"What are you going to do then?" she asked.
I wasn't sure. I was going to keep trying to find him one.
And it would be a real NES Classic Edition - not a knock off.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the novel, "The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery."