9 Stores in 5 Hours OR How To Not Die While Christmas Shopping

Happy Holidays my merry readers.

I apologize if the title of this post excludes anyone but I celebrate Christmas and am therefore wildly unqualified to offer advice or insight into shopping for other winter time holidays (Hanukkah, Yule, Festivus, whatever you’re into). But here are some tips to help you maximize your Christmas shopping (which is to say get back to your couch to binge watch “The Witches of East End” sooner).

1. Plan Ahead!
This step is two-fold (I don’t f*** around when it comes to shopping). The first fold-do some research. Think about what you want to get for the people you are buying for and check out different stores online, most stores even have a handy link next to items that will tell you if it is in stock near you. This allows you to make a hit list of locations (and to find out store hours) and if you want to get really in depth map out your route. The second fold-make a list! I am not kidding make a list, I don’t care if it is a list of names, shops, specific items, reindeer, all the characters in the old timey Rudolph movie, just make a list (and then check it twice … a minute because you are paranoid you will forget something/one).

2. Set Aside Time
This seems like a no brainer but can be more difficult than it would first appear. There are a lot of holiday happenings going on and your friends will try to entice you away with cocktail hours and watching the Patriots losing to the goddamned Dolphins. DO NOT BE SWAYED! Designate a full day to get everything possible on your list, trust me you do not want to have to make five different trips for Christmas gifts, it is the WORST.

fifteen yards between us and victory…I can’t even

3. Attack, ATTACK!!
Show no mercy. There are things your loved ones need that you have to buy, I don’t care if you have to body check an eleven year old to get to that last Barbie Goes Clubbing Special Edition Doll just get it. You have put in the time and effort, you did research for God’s sake, get what you need and get out.

4. Drink Heavily
Did I mention add wine to your list? Because add wine to your list. After five hours, nine stores, and hauling all your crap a mile across a shopping center parking lot in the wrong shoes you will need it. While I usually advocate pre-gaming you should keep all drinking to a post-shopping event, you need your wits about you out there, middle-aged moms shopping for their children are nothing to mess around with.

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This is what five hours of shopping looks like at the end of the day, a lot less impressive when it is all unpacked but much of my gift giving requires assembly (stay tuned for a fun tutorial to make fancy presents).

If you forgot the wine check out this recipe for a delicious Hot Toddy.

Good luck out there readers, have a post-shopping cocktail for me and try not to get run over by a minivan nabbing a primo parking space.


P.S. Definitely don’t body check anyone “tis the season for civil court” you know?



Turn Your Family Holiday Into An Actual Vacation

Happy Holidays Readers!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and got to spend time with family and loved ones. I have one of those rare families in which we actually enjoy hanging out together and have a blast whenever we do. But my family lives far away and so I find that I have to use my precious vacation time visiting them, which is great but it does result in my not getting an actual vacation.

SO if you suffer from the same predicament OR if you have an insufferable family like in some kind of hilarious holiday sit-com style movie (except it’s not hilarious because it is real life) please follow this simple tutorial on turning your family holiday into an actual vacation.

Step One – Arrive Early
Take a sick day, use a personal day, eat up one of those precious, precious vacation days, fake an act of heroism, create a diversion and just quietly slip out, whatever you do find a way to get out of your work place at least two days prior to whatever holiday you are traveling for. This ensures that you get to your family’s home with plenty of time before any other guests arrive and usually means that the rest of your family has to work at least one more day granting you a full eight hours of sweet, lazy freedom.

Step Two – Locate the Liquor Cabinet
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If you need further explanation on this step then this blog is probably not for you…my brand of humor is best served to those already slightly inebriated.

Step Three – Establish a Base Camp
Find a space in your family’s home to call your own, carve out a small corner in which to relax and enjoy the fruits of your liquor cabinet hunt. Just a place to refresh and reset and escape the tensions of your everyday life. Below is an example from my most recent Thanksgiving jaunt to my parent’s home
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(jealous yet??)

Step Four – Be Fearless
This is some real advice for a minute (though I do stick by that liquor cabinet step). Do not be afraid to take some alone time or simply tell your family that looking through great aunt Marjorie’s slides of her lifetime of owning schnauzers is not something you feel like doing. Technically this is your vacation and even though it is family-centric that does not mean that it isn’t also about you. DO your due diligence and put in the time hanging out with your grandparents and siblings and then take a day or evening to do something you want to do.  It’s your family, they’ll still love you….unless your family is made up of some real judgmental so-and-so’s in which case you have my sympathies.

Have a cocktail for me readers, it’s the holidays after all!


P.S. If any of my family is reading this that first paragraph is the god’s honest and I love our kick ass Thanksgiving traditions and miss you all already. Also sorry for raiding the liquor cabinet while you were all at work.