Did you think you could avoid the malls entirely? Maybe you tried to do all your shopping online, or maybe you took our advice to shop locally. Whatever your situation, if you find yourself at the malls before Christmas, just keep these tips in mind.
Don't be a weird parking stalker.
I was in St. Matthews last weekend and realized I'd forgotten my phone in my car. As I walked back to get it, several mini vans began to stalk me in a line, the drivers watching my trajectory like hawks. As I got my phone out of my car and walked back into the store, the parking vultures sped off to find another target. Look, valet parking is $5 at St. Matthews and it's worth it. At the other malls, just resign yourself to walking. We all need to work off those extra Christmas cookies.
Stay well clear of the youths.
Kids these days, with their instagram-ing and vine-ing and whatever other irresponsible nonsense they're into. If you pass a giggling group of preteens in their weirdly coordinated outfits, or an unfortunate pack of mall goths shuffling dejectedly out of Hot Topic, just don't make eye contact.
Pack a gas mask if you're going into anywhere that caters to said youths.
The last time I walked into a Hollister I was assaulted with a cloud of poisonous gas that reminded me vaguely of douche-y frat boys and the inside of a dirty dorm room. Nothing induces a stress migraine faster than the stench of a Bath n' Body works where a herd of youths has recently doused themselves in sample body sprays.
One word: earplugs
I love Christmas music more than any reasonable person should, and the cloying, upbeat, super-fast Christmas pop at the mall wiggles into my ears and makes my mall headache worse.
Be nice to the retail workers!
This is a hard time of year to work in retail. Imagine a million stressed last minute shoppers taking out all their frustration on every clerk in sight. Give them a smile. Be kind and patient. It's not their fault you have to wait in line. It's your fault for waiting until the last minute for Christmas gifts.
Just be happy you're not the mall Santa
Worst. Job. Ever.
In summary: good luck!