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» Last Minute Shopping Blues & Clues

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While children start the 10 day Christmas countdown eagerly, there are those of us still biting our nails trying to figure out how to get everything done. The idea of fighting our way through Santa-filled, jingling crowds isn’t overly appealing, and quite honestly we grew tired of holly and mistletoe by Thanksgiving!

Before you get completely scrooged on the season there are some good coping mechanisms that can help you greatly. First, shop online! That’s right, in the comfort of your PJ’s order what you need and have it express mailed. A lot of online companies are offering free shipping for 3-4 day delivery, which saves you gas money too! Better still, you don’t have to run around town to find that elusive item, and most places will even gift wrap for you! Google your way to success.

Now, if for some reason you cannot (or prefer not) to shop on line, let’s consider the realities. It’s going to find the exact items you want at this juncture, so don’t get hung up on name brands, and don’t go to stores without checking stock first. If you happen to find a reasonably intelligent sales person, ask if they’d be able to hold an item or items for you, and if so for how long. You may be required to give a credit card number to facilitate the ‘hold’ but it’s well worth it. Then just find out where to pick up your gift when you get to the store. And, in the end, if you still have to shop be aware that scruples seem to go out the window during the Holiday rush, with or without that ‘good will toward men’ motto. People will shop your cart if they see you have something they want/need ‘ so be aware.

When you’re preparing for the tip to the store, consider using cash. This saves tons of time at the check out, and also alleviates the after holiday bills that aren’t for the faint of heart to open. As you arrive at the store, don’t sit for 20 minutes waiting for a parking spot to open up. Unless you have an ‘in’ with the Powers of Parking its safer and easier to park in the boonies and walk to the door.

Ok.. you’re at the door. Take a deep breath and keep your good humor intact. Find a sales person who looks harried and treat them REALLY, REALLY nicely. They’ll be so grateful for someone who isn’t yelling or rude, that you’re going to get great personalized service.

At the check out, remember to get receipts just in case. A lot of items get jostled and dropped in the stores and you’ll want to be able to exchange or return in the case of problems. Last but not least get the heck out of Dodge and go have a drink. You’ll need it.

Good luck!


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