HOW TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AT THE MALL

Every year, you swear that next year you won't wait until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping. Well, it's the last week of November and the mall is already a crazy place, so here's how to do all your shopping in one day and be done with it. Come on, you can do this.
  1. 3:30pm - You planned on getting there early but you ended up binge-watching more episodes of your favorite show than you'd be willing to admit and then had an unplanned nap.
    First of all, go to Starbucks and get a coffee, you'll need it. Of course you'll pay $6 for that comfort in a cup, but you're going to be pushed around, ignored, and hot for at least a couple of hours so you may as well treat yourself. Just spend $6 less on your least favorite family member. Plus, now that you have one hand busy carrying your cup you won't be able to carry too many bags so you'll end up buying fewer things. You're welcome.
  2. 3:57pm - You're apparently not the only who needs coffee and the barista is at the end of an 8-hour shift. You've lost 27 minutes but all you can think of is the taste of that candy cane drink in your mouth so you're OK with it.
    Now you have to strategize. You can either wander around and enter stores randomly looking for ideas, or head to Target or the biggest department store in the mall and do all your shopping there. I know this might sound like a good plan and a quick way to be done, but your relatives will probably figure it out and you can expect judgmental looks on Christmas morning and crappy gifts next year. So be nice, put a little effort into it and get ready to walk around the mall. Several times.
  3. 5:22pm - You've memorized the layout of the mall and you're on a first-name basis with most shop-assistants.
    You've been walking for almost an hour and a half now; you've done all the usuals(The Gap, Chapters, Sportscheck, The BodyShop, Sephora...) and found many presents. It's time to reward yourself. No, not by buying something for you; given what you've spent for others you'll have to wait for Christmas morning to get new things. I'm talking about a trip to the food court. How could you turn down the opportunity to spent 30 minutes in a loud overcrowded area and eat some questionable food?
  4. 6:58 - You've been here a lot longer than you thought you would and you refuse to stay after 7pm. You just want to go home and have some eggnog.
    You're almost done, all you need now is a gift for Dad. Don't worry, it's the same for everybody, they're impossible to shop for. If you really think about it, deep down you always knew you wouldn't find something for him here. Even if you didn't want to believe it, you knew it.
  5. 8:10 - YOU MADE IT! You. Are. Done. You survived and convinced yourself that what you bought was exactly what people want. Just joking, I'm sure you did a good job. Oh, by the way, did you remember to get stocking stuffers? Don't worry, you can always get some random things at the cashregister next time you go grocery shopping.
    On your way home stop at the liquor store and get some rum to put in your eggnog, you deserve it.