This post was run on November 30th, 2015. Since we still have holidays and shopping, maybe it will be helpful. I hope you enjoy it.
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Top Ten Things Not to do While Shopping for the Holidays
The inspiration for this list is some years of watching the same mistakes made during this festive time.
10 While shopping for the holidays, do not think other shoppers are out to get you. If you do, at best, you will resemble someone who needs hospitalization. At worst, you may retaliate against the city kickboxing champ who accidentally ran into you. (Notice how he doesn’t use his hands to kick your butt.)
9 While shopping for the holidays, do not have a few drinks to ease the pain. If you do, at best, you may give into temptation and overspend. At worst, you will have the best time you’ll never recall except for the car full of stuff you still don’t know how it got there. (That ringing phone is the credit card company wanting to know if your card has been stolen.)
8 While shopping for the holidays, don’t go out without a list. If you do, at best, you will forget some gifts. At worst, you will spend more than you thought and yet have a nagging feeling you forgot a meaningful gift. (How did that office gift exchange go since you were empty-handed?)
7 While shopping for the holidays, do not leave the house without a travel plan. If you do, at best, you will cover the stores in a pattern looking like the infinity symbol. At worst, you will need to use your GPS to finally figure out where you are and to locate the stores you have already passed. (You now notice you passed the gift shop twice but still can’t figure out how to get back there?)
6 While shopping for the holidays, do not take small children with you. If you do, at best, you all will be frustrated doing precisely the opposite of what you want to do. At worst, you will start to deviate from your shopping plan and end up at the McDonald’s Playground trying to figure out what to tell everyone who will not get a gift this year. (That Big Mac and supersized order of fries are starting to look pretty good right now.)
5 While shopping for the holidays, do not think you are saving money by buying things on sale that you know are not perfect gifts. If you do, at best, you can give gift receipts so the gift can be returned. At worst, you will get the ideal gift from the person you gave a less-than-perfect present. (That is Murphy’s Law of scrimping on a gift for someone. It goes like this. The expense of the gift you receive is indirectly proportional to the cheapness of the gift you give. In other words, the less you spend, the more someone else spends on you.)
4 While shopping for the holidays, do not think a gift card takes the place of an actual present. If you do, at best, you will get your shopping done fast and early. At worst, you could spend more on the gift card than you would on a thoughtful gift. (The problem is the recipient knows the amount. Darn it)
3 While shopping for the holidays, do not take gift suggestions from ads on tv. If you do, at best, your present could represent an uninspired choice. At worst, the gift you give could be totally inappropriate. (Yeah, that Victoria’s Secret or Home Depot item should have stayed in the store. Not to mention the My Pillow slippers.)
2 While shopping for the holidays, do not wait until the last minute to decide what gifts to buy. If you do, at best, you will be running around not knowing what you had in mind. At worst, you will be faced with difficult decisions given that everything you want to buy is unavailable. (The net result is much more expensive than originally planned since now your choice is limited to a diamond or a new car.)
1 While shopping for the holidays, do not avoid taking water and eating before the trips. If you do, at best, you will be without energy and parched. At worst, you will finally be forced to take a break at a sit-down restaurant and spend an enormous amount on something to eat and drink. (Sure, you could wait an hour for a fast-food chicken sandwich, but time is money, right?)