I did mine on Saturday. As I posted earlier, I had three pints and a chaser before even thinking about venturing out into the shops. In my experience the following things help in the process:
1. It is very important to choose shops with very attractive shop assistants. It doesn't make the pain go away any quicker, but it's just nicer. NOTE: This makes buying computer software very difficult, there are very few gorgeous women working in 'puter shops in my experience.
2. If you start to flag try the Veg Twin-Track Shopping Recovery System (TM)
(a) Stop in the nearest pub. Have another drink.
- then -
(b) Buy yourself a present of equal value to the most expensive you've bought for someone else. Hey, fella, it's because you're worth it.
3. Spend about half an hour in Anne Summers. Don't buy anything, just make the other blokes in there looking at lingerie feel uncomfortable.
4. Repeat step 2.
5. Go and get a haircut. It's the only time you'll get to actually read Nuts and FHM anyway. Moan with the barber about what a nightmare Xmas shopping is, then pop into a pub for another drink.
6. By now you should be lightly toasted. Go to the shop with Very Expensive Stuff and Utterly Gorgeous Shop Assistants and buy the big present for t'missus. Apparently spending large quantities of money generates excitement endorphins in our brains, not unlike those of the "fight or flight" mechanism. Do not be afraid to ask the crumpety shop lady to choose the present for you, she will appreciate your slight drunkeness and your looking down her blouse. Possibly.
7. Repeat step 2, man, for the love of god.
8. Hail a taxi home. Public tpt will increase stress levels. Hide gifts and tell missus how much you've spent on her. Crack open beer and plot up on sofa feeling good about yourself and hint heavily that you expect exotic sexual favours.
9. If this doesn't work repeat step 2, substituting the gift for a takeout curry.
Honestly, all this advice is for free, I should be writing self-help manuals or something.
Happy (insert religious or non-religious min-winter festival of choice here).