Last-Minute Christmas Shopping: Survival Guide

It’s the home stretch folks. You’ve been in your time vortex long enough. The days seems to pass by slowly…and then BOOM! Your eyes fall on the calendar and it reads the dreaded 24th day of the 12th month. Even now, shopping complexes are at almost crazed capacity. Meyerland is now Mentalland, the Galleria is for those certainly certifiable (although that tree is so pretty!), Willowbrook might as well change it’s name to Wackadoodlebrook. In short, it’s freaking nuts already out there people! I went out yesterday and almost went full blown anxiety attack upon pulling into the shopping complex. But, guess what? I was in and out in 20 minutes (including parking, browsing, and line standing). How did she accomplish such a seemingly impossible feat you ask? A few simple guidelines. It’s not magic, voodoo, hoodoo, it’s how you do!

1) Know what You want for who, and where to get it from

This isn’t the browsing season, this is the time to have a plan. Make a list, jot down possible gifts for each person and where those items can be purchased. Utilize the blessing that is the store’s website and search to see if it is in store, in-stock. Much like Best Buy, the larger retailers will allow for you to purchase online and pick-up in-store. Even calling the store and asking for an item check will assure you a trip and vital minutes won’t be wasted.

2) Cluster Items to Conquer

This should seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you know the multiple gifts for different people to be purchased from one store. There’s no more annoying feeling in the world knowing you have to return to a store you just left for one freakin’ thing! Color-code your list even!

3) Shop the Late-Shift

Many retailers are  helping you out by being open longer in this week before Christmas. For example, Wal-Mart stores are open 24 hours a day up until 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Toys R Us stores are open around the clock from the morning of Dec. 23 through 9 p.m. Christmas Eve. Plus many retailers, such as Best Buy, allow shoppers to find an item online and pick it up at a store.

4) Dress Comfortably

Don’t deck yourself out for the trenches. Seriously. I know you want to wear your cute scarf and cropped jacket and the boots with da fuuuur. But those attempts are totally wasted when you’re getting down and dirty. Wear your work-out gear, sneakers…whatever breathes well and moves with you. Also, it may be cold outside, but inside the stores? It’s pretty warm. Getting over-heated raises the likelihood of you  getting frustrated and blowing your lid, and that’s no bueno.

5) Booze and Gift Cards

These are ALWAYS a win (for those of age of course) especially in conjunction. Good scotch paired with cigars, a good bottle of wine paired with a restaurant gift card, these are easy and omni-pleasing. It’s actually a good idea to go get a couple of these types of item to have on hand for that ‘Oh, crap I forgot to get for insert name here‘ moment or to avoid the embarrassing situation when someone got you something and you’re empty handed. With a good ol’ bottle of Crown, you will be a Christmas Queen/King.

I hope that opens up lots of strategies for shopping that will keep you out of the crazy lines in stores at noon on Christmas Eve and prevents any unnecessary casualties this holiday season.



– Sarah E!

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