The MALL – a scary, stressful place, especially in December. But there’s something about crowds, moonlight madness nights, decorations, and the thrill of the hunt I enjoy. Sure…I could shop from the comfort of home, but I like to sit in the food court, savouring my bean burrito and Diet Coke, crossing gifts and/or people off my list – DONE.
If, like me, there’s a mall in your holiday future, I offer these sanity-saving tips:
1. THE LIST
Make a real list – with paper and pen – with 2-3 gift options for everyone. Then, when that thing your niece asked for turns out to exist only in her precious little imagination, you’ll have plan B.
2. PULL OVER
Need to text, make a call or greet an old friend? Great. Get the hell out of the way! Move to one side or grab a bench, but don’t jam a busy aisle. This may not stress you out but it drives me crazy!
3. NO TALKING
Don’t jibber-jabber at the sales-person with 50 people waiting behind you, coats on, juggling armloads of stuff, sweaty and pressed for time. Get on with it already!
4. GO SOBER
Someone I know – can’t say who – once enjoyed more than a little wine with dinner at the restaurant at the mall, then made record time with her shopping, finding gifts for everyone that seemed fantastic at the time. In the clear light of the following day, however, these choices seemed confusing, weird and in some cases, inappropriate and I had to take some of them back. I mean SHE had to take them back.
5. KIDS HATE SHOPPING
When was the last time your three-year-old suggested popping by to see what’s new in Baby Gap? Kids hate being strapped into a chair…no toys, nothing to do, and a bird’s eye view of adult butts. Kids want to see Santa? Are you sure? Don’t you think that big, white-haired dude chanting “ho,ho,ho”, with the funny hat and the weird-smelling red suit might be a little scary? I’m just sayin’…
6. MUM’S THE WORD
Are you uber-organized? Presents bought, wrapped and labelled by November 30th? For your own safety, don’t do the “I’m all finished nah, nah, nah” dance. We’re not even remotely happy for you. Personally, I want to push you into your already fully-decorated Christmas tree and feed your already-purchased turkey to the dog.
Worked up about waiting in line? Look around. It’s December. You aren’t the only person shopping. Calm down. Be joyous. Smile. Put money in the Salvation Army kettle. Donate an unwrapped toy. Drop off groceries for those less fortunate. Give an old lady your seat. It’ll go a long way…