Ho-Ho-HOW to Shop: Etiquette for the Holiday Shopper

A few weeks ago, I was asked to guest post on Thypolarlife. The outcome was the following etiquette ‘commentary’ about holiday shopping. I’m sharing an updated version of this post with you because I had the misfortune of going out at lunch – what was I thinking? Scroll to the bottom if you’ve already read the original post. And if you haven’t read it, do it because it rocks!


It’s the start of December. What does this mean? Well, besides the impending snow dumps, unpredictable weather, winter tires and other assorted winter-related shit, it also means that you have to get off your lazy asses and start Christmas shopping. Here are a few things I find most annoying during the holiday madness – take note and act accordingly!

1- Mall music: Dear God, isn’t it enough that I have to hear the same damn Christmas medley all day long while working in the mall? Must I also hear it when I arrive in the morning and leave in the evening? Must I also listen to random shoppers singing off-cue, and to lyrics they’re making up as they go along? Is there no escape from bad Christmas music? Note to mall managers: just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean that normal music has been banned – mix it up fool!

Words of Wisdom: If you can’t tolerate the crappy mall music, bring your iPod/MP3 player and plug yourself in. Play it loud!

2- Parking lots: I understand that you’re all eager to shop, but can you use a little common sense and a) park in actual parking spots and b) not use the damn car park as a race track just so you can beat some poor mall rat to a parking spot? If you’re *this* close to someone’s car then you’re probably blocking their way out of the lot asshole! Not to mention that if someone is patiently awaiting a parking spot while using the proper driving etiquette (i.e. their flasher’s on, indicating that they are waiting for said spot), it is NOT OK for you to steal their spot. I don’t give a crap if you’ve got a kid with you – find another spot.

Words of Wisdom: If you want to avoid packed lots and bad drivers, hit up the mall at opening, or take the bus/train/metro. If you’ve got too many packages to take home, call a cab.

3- The mamas, the papas and the screaming kids: Dude, seriously, Is it necessary for you to bring the entire family along to do your shopping, including the 2 SUV-sized strollers, 3 kids, your husband, sister, dog and the kitchen sink? For fuck’s sake man – do you realize how much space you’re taking up in an already crowded mall? Not to mention that you’re walking about 10-feet wide, making it imposible for people to get around you. Here’s an idea…. get a babysitter. Or have your husband/wife stay home with the kids while you go shopping. It’s not rocket science!

Words of Wisdom: Apply the same WOW as #2.

4- Pushy Pricks: The store is 12 x 12 feet. There are about 25 people in said store. It’s hot and the service is slow. What purpose will be served by you pushing and shoving your way into the store? Think you’re going to cut in line? I don’t think so, because I know of about 24 other people who are ready to cut your balls off if you try that shit.

Words of Wisdom: Bring your lawn clippers – you might need to use them. Bonus: you can go home with two free ornaments for your tree!

5- The DUH factor: Dear store manager, It’s the last week before Christmas, and I was just wondering why you didn’t think it might be useful to staff your store accordingly so that myself and my 24 friends didn’t have to wait in line for 90 minutes just to pay for a pair of gloves. Hello?

Words of Wisdom: Avoid understaffed stores at all costs!

6- The showdown: OK look – I got here first. I picked up the last Wii first. Me – not you. No amount of staring will cause me to relinquish my grip on the fuckin’ Wii so cut your losses and get the crap out of my way.

Words of Wisdom
: If person X persists with the dirty looks, promptly step in front of them, and do the call of the Bedouin. Once they’ve regained their hearing, they’ll leave you alone.

7- The Whiners: How long have you known that Christmas was coming? Isn’t Christmas on the same date every year? Yet you insist on shopping on December 24th, bitching and moaning to anyone who will listen, that everything you wanted to buy is gone. You seem surprised and shocked by this. You sir/ madame, are an idiot. Don’t blame the store clerks, or Wal-Mart or Best Buy because you’re leaving the store empty-handed. What did you expect?For Santa to be waiting for you at check-out, miraculously holding a goody bag containing all of the crap you wanted? I don’t think so. Next year, plan ahead moron.

Words of Wisdom: No amount of wisdom can cure these last-minute shoppers.

8- HUH?:You asked me what was on my wish list. I specifically told you that I wanted gift cards to Indigo, Banana Republic or Lululemon. I fail to comprehend why you thought I might like a pair of oven mitts. Do you have a gift receipt with that?

Words of Wisdom: If you have a friend or family member who is notorious for ignoring your wish list items, you must firmly tell them that the only gift you want is X. For example, I would say “The only thing I want is a gift certificate to Store X. I don’t want anything else. Nothing. Store X. That’s all I want. Repeat after me….”

9- Re-gifting: People, please – don’t re-gift. Have you no class?

Words of Wisdom: If you’re on a tight budget, set a limit with the folk you’re exchanging gifts with. This way, you’re sure to stay within your means, and you won’t have to pawn off last year’s shitty gift to a perfectly nice person.

10- The grumps: It’s the holidays – we’re supposed to be spreading good will. We’re supposed to be merry and cheerful. What the hell is your problem? Take down the crank, and be pleasant to those around you. Smile at strangers, donate to the Salvation Army – drop off canned goods for those who are less fortunate. For one month, try to be fucking happy!

Updated Grievances:

11- The bag ladies: I don’t know about you, but I LOVE being surrounded by pushy bitches that carry multiple oversized shopping bags around.  But wait – what I especially appreciate, are the ones who insist on walking down the narrowest aisle in the store pushing, shoving and poking innocent bystanders with said bags. If you want to use your bag as a weapon then perhaps you should live on the street!

12- Motorized Crap: I appreciate those of you who need to use a motorized contraption to get about town. I respect that you may (or may not) have a disability and that this is why you utilize said contraption. But would you mind not running my ass over with it? If I’m standing in front of you waiting for the light to change, how about you wait till I start walking before revving that engine of yours and charging forward? I”m pretty sure I’m not invisible so watch where you’re going.

13- OMG, they killed Kenny: If you’re going to wear a giant hood that prevents you from seeing all moving objects, why don’t you just wear a bag over your head instead? Or better yet, why not shove your head up your own ass? This way you’ll have two great excuses for not looking where you’re going. And BTW, I think that giant hood affects your sense of balance!

14- Panic at BR: Ladies, chill out. Yes, Banana Republic has a 40% sale, but we are not in a brothel, nor are we in the jungle. Try to exercise a little civility for God’s sake. It’s clothing, not golden nuggets!

And this concludes my update. If you’ve got some holiday shopping grievances to share, post them via the comments field!

Got something to say? Speak!

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5 thoughts on “Ho-Ho-HOW to Shop: Etiquette for the Holiday Shopper

  1. LMAO! So sorry to read about your lunch shopping troubles. Those bag ladies piss me off too. But you forgot to mention how they knock shit onto the floor with their bags right in front of you. I can’t even begin to count how many times some bag lady has knocked clothes off of hangers and shit off of shelves. Pick up after yourselves people!

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