A Mother’s Guide to Christmas Shopping

It’s started.

On Saturday, we made our way to our local shopping centre where we usually slide into a car park without too much trouble… only to find utter chaos. The car park crammed to overflowing and inside was much the same.

I don’t know why it took me by surprise; the countdown to Christmas is ON!

The atmosphere had well and truly changed from a casual Saturday of browsing to a high intensity, ‘get out of my way,’ ‘every man for himself’ approach, that’s sadly become synonymous with this season of good will.

In pursuit of the perfect Christmas (gift), something happens to our usually relaxed nature.

Our 4 year old has recently decided that he will be pushing his little brother in the pram from now on. With his metaphorical ‘L’ plates strapped to the foot rest, he stumbles and jerks his way through the shopping centre. The occasional accidental bump is inevitable and most people are good natured about it, even commenting on ‘what a good little helper he is.’ But not on Saturday. Oh no. in the hectic ‘Christmas Shopping’ chaos, an accidental bump is all but punishable by death, forcing us to cease training until the new year.

As mums, my challenge to you this Christmas season is to radiate Christmas Spirit, no matter what’s going on around you in aisle 3. Pay forward kindness, maintain your sense of humour and don’t let the hectic atmosphere get to you. Model for your kids what true Christmas Spirit looks like.

Here are my tips for getting through Christmas Shopping unscathed…

– Get to the shops early… like 8.30am. You’ll usually have your pick of the car park and coffee shops open before the retailers, giving you the opportunity to start your day with a nice, quiet coffee and get off on the right foot.

– The stress factor will be significantly reduced by leaving your kids at home. I really can’t stress that enough.

– There’s nothing worse than wandering from one end of the mall to the other and back again, comparing prices, styles and colours. Do all your research online BEFORE leaving home, saving you countless hours, not to mention your feet!

– Better yet, buy whatever you can online, minimizing the time spent in the hectic Christmas Shopping environment.

– For heaven’s sake, don’t forget what it’s really all about – a tiny baby entering the world, bringing light and life and hope. That red Falcon who stole your car park will feel like not such a big deal when you keep things in perspective.

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