A Guide To Surviving Christmas Shopping

It’s getting to that time of year again when we have to do the dreaded Christmas shop. Usually (unless you’re lucky) you have to go to a packed shopping centre and battle every Tom, Dick and Harry who have also decided to do their Christmas shopping that day as well (looks like everybody had the same idea about starting early that year).  So here are my tips on how to make the whole process a little less grim:

  • Make a list: I cannot be thankful enough for my Grandma who put me onto this tip. Basically, have a good think BEFORE you go shopping about what you want to get people, and where to get the present from e.g. “ooh I want to get granny some slippers… well I know they do lovely slippers in Debenhams so I shall look there…” This way you can half the time you spend looking for presents as you know exactly what shop to go in, what you are looking for and who the present is for.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: I know looking good often comes with a price, but when you are surrounded by hundreds of warm people, swarming like bees to the Disney store, you don’t exactly want to be wearing your best high-heeled boots or your Fred Perry shoes that rub you somewhat… you want comfort. Wear your baggy t-shirt and comfy trainers, they allow you to weave through the crowd like some sort of Christmas crowd-ninja, and no, you won’t look catwalk ready, but you will be thankful for the ability to walk by the end of the day…
  • Try to minimalize the amount of bags you carry: No, I’m not saying “buy less presents”, what I’m saying is that more than one thing fits in one bag, for example, that huge Clinton’s bag you have with only a thin calendar in it, would also fit granny’s slippers, your cousins DVD AND your mum’s scented candle… do you get me?
  • Take your own beverages: It’s around this time of year when every coffee shop brings out their Christmassy (usually cinnamon flavoured) beverages and people can’t get enough of them. But, bad luck for you because, right when you are on the verge of dehydration, you arrive to Starbucks to find that your favourite seasonal drink is blocked by 40 like-minded people, all with the same desire to quench their thirst. By taking your own food and drink you are able to avoid this unnecessary queueing and while your Evian water may not taste like a cinnamon latte, it’s cheaper and allows you to finish your shopping quicker…
  • Try not to get mad with women with prams: I know this one is not something you can do to make the whole shopping process more enjoyable, but you kinda have to do it… Yes, the woman pushing the double buggy may be blocking your path to the Body Shop, but you can bet that she is just as frustrated (possibly even more) with the situation as you are. She can’t quickly weave in and out of people to find that bargain in the LEGO store, she has to deal with other people jostling around the pram and sometimes even knocking bags off and onto the floor, and she has to do all that with two fed-up toddlers vying for her attention. I know she might be slowing you down, but spare a thought for how much that woman will need her cinnamon-y beverage by the time she has finished.

So there you go, a fool-proof (well, almost) plan to survive the hell that is Christmas Shopping… Have fun! :)

P.S. I wrote this post in October… (Eager much?)

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