Anyone else have to brave the mall today/this week? I always end up having to finish my shopping the week of Christmas because of school and finals so today's adventure is nothing new to me. I wish I didn't have to go to Tysons today, but I figure it is only going to get worse as Christmas gets closer, and I may as well knock out all my shopping in this one trip. Now, I realize Tysons is a beast of its own as far as crowds and a mall goes, but there are some universal last minute Christmas Shopping tips I try to stick to, no matter where I have to go shopping.
One: Make a List
I am a compulsive list-maker so this is nothing new to me, but that list will be your best friend. You don't want to be stuck wandering around the mall wondering what you forgot or, even worse, leave the mall and have to go back later to get something you forgot. Just write as complete a list as you can and check it off as you go.
Two: Plan Your Route
Start at one end of the mall and work towards the other end. Personally, I start in the middle because parking is easier and I just loop around hitting all the shops on one side first, and then hitting the ones on the other side as I come back.
Three: Save the Big Items for Last
Don't get that huge pedicure tub thing at Brookstone first. This is an exception to the route planning tip because no one wants to walk around with that massive thing the whole time.
Four: Get Off Your Phone
The mall is crowded and you staring at the phone means that the walking will take longer since you can't weave in and out of people and you are probably going to run into someone. Just wait until you get off to the side or into a store to check your texts.
Five: Plan to Gift Wrap
This comes from personal experience working the holiday season at the mall last year. It is not their fault that there are no more gift boxes on Christmas Eve. People have been coming in for a month to get things wrapped so of course they ran out. Go to CVS or something and get some gift boxes if the stores don't have any left. Again, it is not the employees' fault. I can't tell you how many angry customers I had on Christmas Eve last year...
Bonus: Be Nice
This goes off of #5 and also just in general. Spread the Christmas cheer and understand that everyone there is in a rush and wants to get done as fast as possible too. Be especially nice to the employees in stores, remember it's their Christmas season too and they're spending it helping you! (Yes they make money doing it, but still...)