Smear on the war paint, put on your fighting face and get ready for battle—holiday shopping is here! In my family, Black Friday is practically as exciting as Christmas because it marks the start of the shopping season. Ever since I was old enough to convince my mom to let me go with her (I promised I wouldn’t peek if she bought me presents!), I have been going holiday shopping, waiting in countless lines, snagging awesome deals and having a blast. At the end of a successful shopping season—because everyone knows you can still get deals throughout the entire month of December—you’ll feel like you just completed a marathon. If you are dreading this extremely busy (read: wonderful) shopping experience, keep reading for a few tips to help you survive.
Make a Plan Beforehand
Think of yourself as Santa Claus, and make a detailed shopping list before you go shopping. Decide what you want to buy for everyone on your list and then figure out where to go based on the best deals. It’s as easy as searching your favorite stores online and making note of who has the best sales.
Galleria Dallas is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. this week, and a full list of their extended hours can be found online. Many of their deals and sales can also be found here.
The Shops at Willow Bend is also open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. this week, with more information about extended holiday hours available online. A list of deals and sales at various stores can be found here.
I can’t stress this enough: caffeine is non-negotiable during the holidays. Dunn Brothers Coffee in Addison is open until 9 p.m. every day, so you can refuel all day long. They are offering three seasonal drinks right now, all of which you should try before the weekend is over! The Cinnamon Roll Nirvana tastes like a cinnamon roll in a cup, topped with fresh cinnamon whip cream and white chocolate sauce drizzle. The Candy Cane Mocha is made with rich white chocolate and smooth peppermint, and sprinkled with peppermint chunks on top. Finally, the Spiced Eggnog Nirvana is made with real eggnog, ground nutmeg and vanilla. Nothing can get you in the holiday mood like sugar and caffeine, so don’t neglect this important step!
Things don’t always go your way during holiday shopping. Don’t sweat it. I’ve seen grown women literally fighting over toys, people crying, stores trashed, lines out the door and more—no deal is worth it. If you miss out on something, just go with the flow and move on to something else. The same item will likely go on sale again before Christmas, but even if you have to spend a little extra on it later, it is worth it if it means keeping your cool. Trust me, shopping will be a lot more enjoyable if you remain flexible, laidback and calm.
Although holiday shopping may seem a little intense for the uninitiated, it really is just a fun time to drink coffee, bond with your shopping buddies and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. And for those who just can’t handle it, online shopping is a perfectly good option! If you’re looking for me this season, I’ll be the one filled with shopping bags, wearing a huge smile and trying hard to get that last half-priced makeup palette to give myself—after all, we deserve to get ourselves something special after all that hard work buying for others!
Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where she learned to love chips and salsa and hot weather. She has a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas, and she currently works in the College Communications, Marketing and Outreach office at Richland College. Some of her passions include writing, traveling and re-reading the Harry Potter Series every chance she gets. In the spirit of spontaneity, Sydni lives her life with a pen in one hand and her video camera in the other; ready to capture the next great story.