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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Simplify Christmas - Part 3 - Breathe Deep!

With only about two weeks before Christmas, the malls and stores are super crowded, the shoppers are no longer in the "holiday spirit", the parking lots are jammed with irate drivers.  For most of us, we're in the middle of a winter freeze with icy roads and sidewalks.  Bundling up in layer upon layer of warm clothes, braving the treacherous road conditions to get that last Christmas present is no our idea of fun.  (I hope you aren't taking your kids with you on this excursion!)

What to do?  Take a deep breath and relax.  Before you walk out the door, tell yourself that the other shoppers are going to be insane, the poor cashiers are going to be exhausted, the parking lot is going to be full and you won't be able to find that Christmas present you went out of your way to get.  In other words, prepare for the worst experience and try to turn it into a positive one.

If you assume that people are going to be impatient, you are more likely to step aside for someone and let them go before you in a long line.  Open the door for someone.   Don't fight over a parking spot with a rude driver.  Try smiling and thanking the exhausted employees, instead of grabbing your purchases and hurrying on your way.  It's almost fun to try to change someone's day and be the one person who treats them like a real person.

If the last present on your list is sold out, it does no good to get upset about it.  Either settle on something else, give an IOU, or go home and look online for it.  Either way, life will go on and everyone will be much happier if you don't stress about it.  You have no control over the weather or people around you but remember that you DO have control over you. 

To truly simplify shopping at this late date, forget going out at all, curl up before a warm fire with a mug of hot chocolate and shop online.  :)


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