Dec 07/12
By Joe Ross

Survival of the Giftest

In the torrential push and pull of the holiday season, it can be difficult to maintain an air of poise and grace.

Mall parking lots are at full capacity with looming vehicular predators ready to bolt into a parking space at the sign of a blood-red reverse light. Shopping cart operators, devoid of common courtesy, jam up shopping aisles to threaten your sanity. Zombie-like hordes of shuffling shoppers, apparently unaware of their position in both time and space, can boil up murderous rage.

What can be done during these apocalyptic-like yule-tide times? Designing a holiday survival kit is our recommendation.

We recommend the following must-haves items for your gifting "go-kit", so you can survive this holiday shopping season with dignity:

01. Airborne. The only thing worse than a summer cold, is the infamous winter cold. With nefarious germ harboring surfaces at every turn, the smart shopper can't be too cautious. Equip your immune system by popping an airborne before beginning your journey.

02. Gel Insoles. With all the walking and waiting in long lines, it is imperative to take the preventative and defensive route of protecting your precious feet. We recommend any Dr.Scholl's brand.

03. Large cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage. Starbucks "Ready Brew" packets are a great solution for the on-the-go shopping survivalist. Their compact size and easy mix-ability with cool or hot water make them an invaluable utility.

04. Smart phone. For obvious reasons this is a crucial companion for your festive fellowship. At your fingertips contain apps that allow you to drop a pin in order to find your way back to your long forgotten parking spot. Should you need to price check a competitor stores pricing on that expensive big gift, there's an app for that. Perhaps some of your wee elves have wandered off during the procession across the store–the increasingly rare yet primary use of a phone call to summon them back is sometimes an overlooked convenience.

05. Earbud headphones. These pocket-sized companions plug into your smartphone/iPod and provide a zen-like escape from the bustling chaos around you while you shop. Maintain your preferential music selection, keep calm, and shop on.

06. Shopping list. Everyone knows around the holidays you tend to walk out with a bit more than intended, but one great way to stay on task and stress free is to itemize the essentials on your list. An added key tip is to categorize your list based on what items are found near the other similar items. This will save you from backtracking across the store or the mall, and through the mob of possibly "hangry" (hungry + angry) shoppers.

07. Aspirin. What's the one thing the Grinch hated most about the holiday season? All the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise. Maintain your "Wooville" charm and pocket a few Aspirin just in case a Grinchy headache tries to steal your positive holiday spirit.

08. Granola bars. To avoid the "hangry" feelings that rigorous shopping likely produces, arming yourself with an energizing protein or healthy carb boost can be a true lifeline.

We hope this kit prepares you well on your way to your Christmas quest. Remember to stick to your lists, stay positive and have a swift and safe journey.

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