By James Bauman
So you decided not to shop on Black Friday. Congratulations! You are officially a half-decent human being.
Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa are just around the corner, however, and friends and relatives are practically hurling their wish lists around, so it’s time to hit the stores. But how does one go about this last-minute frenzy before this crazy chain of festivities? The Loyalist has got you covered with a handy little guide on how to survive your hectic holiday shopping spree.
First and foremost, you must prepare by making a list of what you plan to buy. Wandering around the store aimlessly increases your chances of that one purse— the one your girlfriend’s been eyeing—being snatched by another desperate consumer, and every [decent]boyfriend knows that not getting anything for your girlfriend for Christmas is a break-up just waiting to happen. Knowing what you want prior to your excursion makes gifts all the easier to track down in a crowded superstore.
Speaking of which, another important thing to know before shopping, and most definitely not during, is where and when items need to be bought. Some items are store-exclusive (like those cursed Nintendo Amiibo; looking at you, Sakurai), and not everything can be bought at a single location. Add to that the limited-time offers stores tend to have that may make or break your wallet, and devising an overall game-plan for your shopping becomes imperative when preparing for the holiday season. Which day is least suspicious to Mom if I “stay after school” a little longer? When can I convince one of my parents to give me a ride to Target to get a present for the other parent? Which stores have over 60% off on expensive trinkets I don’t need but would like to buy, and for how long? And which store has the least amount of other annoying sales clerks? Although the last question is sadly unanswerable (there will always be that one checkout person that takes too long), the others are all legitimate and must each be addressed with the utmost care.
And finally, after you have prepared for what you want to get, where you’re going, and when you’re going, you must prepare quite possibly the most crucial piece of information of all: bring earmuffs, headphones, or earbuds. Why? To drown out the other customers, of course! Who needs to worry about crying babies and angry customers when you can’t hear them? Crank up your tunes on those Beats, grab those deals, and sail by others while they yell at you without a care in the world. (Just remember to take your handy tools off when you get back in the car. Remember, driving deaf is driving blind.)
And there you have it! If you have followed all of these steps, you are undoubtedly prepared for grabbing that last-minute sweater for dear Granny, that Barbie doll for your little sister, and—of course—that one oh-so-special purse for your girlfriend. When the holidays draw close, take great delight in the fact that you have stocked up on all the proper goodies beforehand and have beaten all your peers as they scramble to get you gifts in return. Then, when the day finally arrives, let your good deeds be repaid as you tear open your own awesome gifts. You’ve certainly earned anything good that comes your way if you spent the time to give out that same level of goodness.