Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Shopping--The Rules of Engagement

Yeah, I know, its been a minute.... SO SUE ME!

Attempting to complete my holiday shopping reminded me why I HATE SHOPPING AT CHRISTMASTIME. Now, the fact that the phrase "I hate shopping..." (prefaced by ANYTHING) came out of the mouth of a card carrying member of Shop-A-Holics Anonymous means that conditions for engaging in my favorite passtime have become insipidly annoying. Therefore, I feel that as one who holds the activity of shopping in such high regard, I must take this opportunity to provide people with some guidelines (just 5) to make the shopping experience enjoyable and efficient for you, and to keep the people around you from wanting to dig your eyeballs out of your head with a rusted spoon and serve them to you on a lead plate.

1. Have a game plan people. Remember the lyric "He's making a list, checking it twice..." ? Santa is a smart man. He goes in there knowing who he needs to get gifts for and what they want. Since he is the High Holy Priest of All Gift Giving, don't you think you should follow his lead?

2. Map out an efficient route. Whether you are cruising around the mall or going from store to store in your trusty SUV, make sure you know where the heck you want to go. It saves me the aggravation of walking or driving behind you while you are vascillating on which store you need to go to next. That's why they have maps of the mall... USE THEM! Make sure you plan appropriate bathroom and meal breaks....

3. For the love of all that is good in the world, if you are going shopping with small children in tow, please have some method of wrangling those little ankle-biters in. I cannot tell you how many times I have nearly knocked some little cutie pie over with my shopping bag because his parent (usually MOM) is not paying attention and the child is wandering aimlessly about. In addition, this is the season when all manner of things, including children, get stolen. The last thing I want to see is some sobbing parents on the TV talking about "I just looked away for a second...."

4. Please check all items to make sure they have price tags BEFORE YOU GET TO THE REGISTER. Price checks during a regular shopping day are annoying. Multiply that by a long line of weary would-be Santas behind you and a less than jolly sales associate in front of you, and you have a recipe for disaster. SOMEBODY is going to cuss you out... or at least curse at you under their breath...

5. Lastly, I'm not one to tell people how to manage their finances and Lord knows I'm still working on being more fiscally responsible. But seriously, don't go into bankruptcy trying to fulfill the wishes of everyone on your list. I am a huge fan of bargain shopping and I am in the leauge with some of the best (Nechi, I still remember the $4 Gap Jeans!) Cause guess what... those credit card bills will show up in January and all of that holiday cheer will be forgotten under the cloud of $500 minimum payments. Its nice to be Santa... it will be even nicer to be able to eat/drive/pay rent in 2007....

Just some tips to make sure that your holiday shopping is good for you as I hope it will be for me.. if you have any suggestions I may have overlooked, feel free to add...

Happy ChristmaHanuKwanzakah!

Peace and love,
The Retrospect

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