Christmas Shopping Survival Guide

There are only a few days left and everyone’s rushing to get that last minute shopping done.  The salespeople are ready.  They too are trying to get those last minute sales so they can have more eggnog this year.

Don’t fall for the same sales tactics you do every year.  Some of that stuff you don’t even need.  You just don’t know how to say when. Your credit card is bleeding. Your checkbook is crying, and your paycheck is just trying to get some rest. But, you won’t let it!

So when you’re at the mall, it’s vital you know how to survive. They have thousands of books on parenting.  But, no shopping survival guide!  Without that, you might as well just walk around with a load of cash in your hand, giving it away to anyone who speaks to you.  So, here’s my take that has worked for me over the years.


Harden Your Heart

It’s the most anti-Christmas thing you can say!  But, your heart has to be hard when it comes to shopping.  Get the death stare.  Practice it in the mirror.  It’s the look that is right between when your eyes glaze over at a boring meeting and when you get mad because someone ate your leftovers.

To get that look down pat, you have to desensitize yourself.  Purchase a cheap Teddy Bear or something similar from a discount store.  Take it to your car and stare at it for a second.  Then, pluck its eyes out and rip off its head.  When you stop crying, you’re ready for the war at the mall.


Avoid Eye Contact

Trust me!  These are highly trained assassins.  They know how to take down their prey.  The weak stand no chance.  So, don’t make eye contact with the salespeople standing in the middle of the mall or at the entrance of their store.  If they have something for free, it’s a trick.  It’s the bedazzle that gets you in the store where they can guilt you into buying everything they suggest.

If you make the huge mistake of looking in their eyes, be ready to deal with some huge heart string pulls.  It’s not right for them to say you don’t love your family enough if you don’t buy that useless piece of junk they’re pushing on you.  Your dog doesn’t even know it’s Christmas.  Don’t let them pull that one either.

Plus, you have to remember that you don’t have a mistress.  Answer that manipulative question wrong and you find yourself suddenly getting blackmailed.  The salesperson already has your credit card number, your phone number and the cell is dialing with your wife about ready to answer.  It’s a mental warzone.  You better eat your Wheaties!



That’s right!  Learn how to say the word, “No.”  I’m at the point where I can say it before they even say anything.  I can say it before they even know I’m anywhere around.  But, you have to be forceful.  Then, reinforce the forceful.

They are not borderline harassers.  You have to remember that you came to play on their turf.  That’s their living room and you’re just all up in that!  So, they will keep coming at you even after you have told them, “No!”

“But sir!”


“But, all I wanted to say was…”


“What is the time?”


“The time is No?”


You get the picture!


Christmas is the time of year for everyone to be jolly.  But for you, those who still have shopping to do, it’s the time to polish those combat boots and strap them on tight. The mall is the battleground and the salesperson is the frenemy.  They are the enemy until they have exactly what you want!  Then, talk to them like you know them and see what deal you can get.


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Michael Allen is the author of the newly released novel The Deeper Dark - When Haven Kayd returns home after being a POW for years, he finds he was unknowingly used as a tool in a human trafficking scheme that is now threatening the life of his daughter. Available now at Amazon!

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The Deeper Dark

the deeper darkMichael Allen’s latest novel…

The Deeper Dark is the story of a fighter pilot who spends a few years in a POW camp. When he returns to civilization, he realizes how much has changed as life just seemed to move on without him. His wife remarried and his daughter learned how to grow up without her father around. When he finds out there’s more to the story the day his jet went down, he finds himself in the middle of unimaginable corruption. Trying to keep their secrets hidden, his invisible enemies threaten the one person he has left in this world. But they have no idea how far he’s willing to go to save her life.

Available in print and on Kindle: The Deeper Dark