Hello, my name is Gary and I'm a life-long procrastinator.  I'm good at it, too. For some reason, I can get by with putting things off until the last minute and, most of the time, it seems to work out anyway. Of course, when it comes to Christmas shopping, I don't like shopping to begin with and  all the crowds make me want to start shopping on line for everything. I'm not alone when it comes to procrastination either,

According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, 17% of Americans have not begun shopping for Christmas a week before the holiday, while less than one-third had wrapped up all their shopping.

You might wonder why so many people procrastinate and the answers are as varied as the people who put things off until the last minute. According to the poll, almost half say they are waiting to see if a better deal comes along. Fair enough -- I can use that one.

Just over 40% say that they can buy just about everything they need at the last minute on-line and 50% say that, because of all the new technology, shipping is faster than it ever was and they don't worry about timely delivery.Speaking of "delivery, about a third of people say they won't buy a product unless it ships free!

If you add to that the people, like yours truly, who just don't like fighting the crowds and that adds up to a lot of last minute shoppers in the stores and on-line. Plus, at the end of the work day, a lot of people are just too tired to shop.

the catch to last minute shopping is keeping it a secret. For some people, knowing that they got a gift that was chosen at the last minute takes away from the gift. I was actually married to someone who said that last minute gifts don't count. that, obviously, led to a problem or two and may explain why I've been married three times.

What you need to take away from this story is; go ahead and continue to shop at the last minute, just don't let anyone know that you are a secret procrastinator.