You decide to grab a couple of gifts during lunch (just really quickly!) and end up in gridlock. You scramble to find something at the one store you managed to wedge yourself into, fight through a billion people to get out of the parking garage, and end up both late to the office and lunch-less with nothing to show for it. It's a bummer. 

Don’t get the holiday shopping blues—go in with a game plan. Here are our common sense tips for not having a level-five mall-meltdown this holiday season.

Photo by billjacobus1(via Creative Commons)

Give Yourself Enough Time
Your lunch break is an awful time to go full-on holiday shopping. Unless you want to totally ruin your day, skip actual lunch, and be late to your afternoon meeting, don’t do it! Instead, plan time after work or on the weekend to run the gift gauntlet. Heck, take a day off mid-week if you can and treat yourself to a massage after. 

Don’t Go Hungry
Most people devolve into a two-year-old child when their stomachs start grumbling. Pair that with a crowd of pushy strangers, WHAM!’s “Last Christmas” on repeat, and Galleria traffic? Recipe for disaster. Get a full meal in you before stepping out the door. Bonus points for packing a granola bar for later—all that shopping works up a mean appetite.

Wear Comfortable Shoes
“Duh,” you say. “Of course I’ll wear comfy shoes!” That’s shoe hubris, my friend. We all think our shoes are comfortable until we start running laps at Galleria and realize our folly. Make sure your kicks are battle tested and ready for a day of walking. Sneakers, flats, and other supportive footwear only.

Get Your List Together
Your list is your lifeline. Instead of only writing out the people you’re buying for and what they’re getting, organize yout list by store and map it—that way you’re not wandering like an extra from The Walking Dead. Aimless shoppers get poached by the mall kiosk people—don’t be one of them!

 

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