Not ready for Christmas? Go hunting.

If you haven’t gotten the Christmas cards and packages in the mail yet, they’re not going to make it there on time. But there are some things you still have time to do.

Let’s face it. If you haven’t sent off that stack of Christmas cards yet, it’s too late now. On the same token, any packages you haven’t sent to their intended recipients in other states aren’t going to get there on time, no matter how much you spend on shipping. There’s no sense wasting time trying to get ‘em there now.

You might be able to find gifts for people in town, but that means fighting the mobs in the stores. If there’s even anything good left on the shelves, you’ll have to stand in incredibly long lines filled with surly last-minute shoppers to get it all taken care of.

Your only hope is to forget about it all and just go hunting. Sure, you might have to face some pretty upset or disappointed people on Christmas, but look at the bright side. The fields and duck marshes will be pretty empty in the next couple of days, because most everyone else will be stuck in check-out lines, getting grumpier and grumpier. You’ll be out in the fresh air, doing what you really want to be doing, rather than spending your hard-earned money on something that’s probably just going to be returned within a week, anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Scrooge. I love Christmas. I’m just being realistic. I’m also pretty sure if you force it now and just buy the first thing you come across for your significant other, you might wind up worse off than if you just admit you put it off too long and don’t get anything. Trust me when I say that a bad gift might land you in more trouble than no gift at all. Oh, you’ll be in trouble either way, but if you show up with, say, a ThighMaster or a set of Shake Weights, you’ll wish you’d just wrapped an empty box instead.

So grab the decoys and the shotgun, or take advantage of the tail end of the pheasant season. And start thinking now about what you’re going to get your sweetie next year.