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Holiday Shopping Survival Tips!

Holiday shopping is hectic at the best of times, but add a couple of unenthusiastic kids to the mix and you’ve got the potential for one huge headache. But with a little patience, and planning ahead, shopping for holidays can be a little less frenzied.


  • Make a shopping list and set an itinerary of which stores you want to visit before you go.

  • Set a reasonable length of time for your shopping trip and try to schedule during your child’s best part of the day.

  • Be sure to go over expectations of behavior before you leave – even if you’ve gone over them a million times before.

  • Involve your kids and let them help plan part of the shopping trip, maybe they’d like to include a visit to the pet store at the mall, or stop at a play place for a snack. (Set a time limit)

  • Letting them shop for a special gift for a family member will help them feel involved. The dollar store works well for this.

  • Don’t forget to plan regular breaks during the shopping trip, pack along a special snack or make a plan to stop for lunch.

  • Make your list & determine your budget ahead of time, then pick the best time of day and day of the week to do your shopping. You’ll find the mall less crowded if you shop during the non-peak hours which are earlier or later in the day.”

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

  • Try to shop without the kids, but if you must bring them, enjoy some fun time with them – after all, this is what the holiday season is really all about! Visit Santa and enjoy all the special Christmas activities throughout the mall you are shopping at.

  • Take advantage of complimentary coat and parcel check.

  • Take time for a break and enjoy the soft seating areas throughout the mall, make sure you drink lots of water and grab a bite to eat at the food court to keep up your strength.

  • Stock up on Gift Cards for those hard-to-buy people in your life.

  • Have your gifts wrapped for charity.  This is a wonderful way to give back to the community while saving you some much needed time.

Remember to keep a positive attitude and approach the excursion as a special date and not an ordeal. Looking at the trip from their perspective and planning for their needs will help you all get through the outing a little less frenzied. And if all else fails, find a friend to trade child care with and let the marathon begin.

Ellen is the publisher of Calgary's Child Magazine. Read us online at

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