5 Important Things To Keep In Mind While Christmas Shopping

The “Holidays” are nearly upon us, and in the retail world have already been here for a couple of weeks. That means it is time to start considering what momentum you will contribute to the engine of consumerism to help keep the Socialists in check. And while I cannot tell you what to buy, for such knowledge lies locked away in your festive little heart, I can offer you some time-tested tips for getting the most out of your shopping experiences.

1) Dress For Success

As any stock photo will reveal, the best shoppers are models wearing clothes that perfectly accentuate their every feature. Most of us aren’t models but we have to do the best that we can, and that means buying great new outfits for ourselves so that we have the confidence and glamor needed to make the best shopping choices possible. After all, how can you possibly decide what incrementally better smart phone to buy for your mother when you are distracted by your shabby 2013 rags? PROTIP: cashiers will charge you more for your purchases if you aren’t well-dressed, since they rightly conclude that you are too stupid to know any better.

2) Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Buying the perfect gift takes more than just good intentions and a mind cleared of distractions, you need a little something philosophers like to call “empathy”. Google defines empathy as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”, and that sounds pretty correct. The easiest way to develop this “empathy” for others is to put yourself in their shoes. Walk around in them for a few hours. Try on their outfits. Sleep in their bed a few times. Get a haircut and colored contacts to look more like them. Show up at their place of employment in their clothes and do their job for a few hours. Call your friend’s parents on their phone and talk to them like you’ve known them your whole life. Get a credit card in their name. Whatever it takes to really, really understand them.

3) Remember Those Who Don’t Celebrate

As hard as it might be to believe, there are some people who don’t celebrate Christmas. Particularly at this time of year, they can feel isolated and alienated by all of the festivities, particularly if they are the only person among their friends or co-workers who doesn’t partake. Being a good friend means understanding that not everyone does things your way, and nothing says “I tolerate and respect your different beliefs” like giving your Muslim or Taoist friend a Christmas gift of their very own! And don’t be shy about wishing them a “Merry Christmas” every time you see them; the last thing you want to do is exclude them!

4) The Right Gift For The Right Relationship

With all the hussle and bustle of Christmas shopping, it can be very easy to second-guess how appropriate a particular gift is; five gold rings is all well and good for your true love, but what about Dale in Marketing? Should he get five gold rings too? Not necessarily. Remember that every gift is a way of telling someone how you really feel about them. For important relationships, like a fiancée or the judge weighing in on your insider trading case, nothing is too good. Two million dollars cash may seem extragavant, but what would it say about your heart to only give $1.75 million? For a dying grandfather who stopped giving you money for your birthday after you turned eight, on the other hand, maybe something a little more practical, like a travel sized shaving cream or a candy bar.

5) Remember The Reason For The Season

Nothing can stress a Christmas shopper out more than getting caught up in the frivolity and commercialization that so often comes with the holiday. Christmas is ultimately a celebration of the birth of Jesus, after all. Keep this in mind as dash from store to store, looking for the boots that will make your sister love you again. Remember the faith of Mary and Joseph as you attend party after party, drinking that delicious egg nog and doing things with whatshisface or whatsherface that you cannot fully recall but fills you with a sense of unease. Think about the chorus of angels that broke out as you fill the peace and quiet of your life with endlessly repeating holiday jingles and 24-hour Christmas Story marathons. Christmas is so important: get it right.Are you ready? She is!

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