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Holiday Shopping Rules!

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The holiday season brings out the best in humanity, doesn’t it? Customer service is always at its peak the week before Christmas. And people are always so courteous, cheerful and thoughtful this time of the year. Look no further than the line at any local Post Office or the parking lot of the closest mall… yeah right. And who’s spiking your eggnog?

LAist has heard first-hand horror stories from friends and family about how they survived – with shrapnel and scars to boot – the latest adventure to the mall. One person told us it took her one hour to find a parking spot at The Grove/Farmer’s Market last Saturday afternoon. While most of us would have given up after 15 minutes, she had to press on, because her father was already waiting for her inside. We’ve also witnessed shouting matches that have gotten so very creative with George Carlin’s seven words. And we can’t forget the incidents of “lot” rage over the more-precious-than-gold parking spot.

But we’re here to help you navigate the shopping stress. LAist offers a few reminders – common sense as they may be – for those braving Glendale, The Grove, Third Street, Century City or countless other malls during these last few days before Christmas.

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5. Morning bird gets the worm. We know that it’s painful to get up at dawn’s crack during the winter, but remember that to avoid the critical masses, you have to get your asses out of bed and beat them to your shopping venue of choice.

4. Make a list and check it twice. Scribble down gift ideas and possible stores for each person you want/need to buy a gift for. You want to get in, get out as fast as possible. Now is not the time to try on that tailored topcoat at Banana Republic.

3. Know when to let go. We've seen it happen numerous times. You're circling the parking lot when you glance in your rearview that a spot just behind you is opening up. Because you've now been in the car for 15 minutes, your first impulse is to back into the space and make the seven cars behind you back up to let you do this. But resist the urge. It's only going to piss a lot of people off. Keep moving forward, not backward. Listen to us because we might be saving you from physical or verbal fisticuffs.

2. Medicate up. Now we usually don't advocate drug use, but this is the holiday season, dammit. Between shopping, cooking and/or stopping to see all the relatives, popping a Xanax or doing a few shots of bourbon might just take the edge off the Christmas spirit.

1. Magic fingers. We have just two words: Amazon.com and Overstock.com. Let your fingers do the talking and avoid going out at all. Then it'll really be a holly jolly Christmas.

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Good luck and godspeed all you procrastinators!

Flickr photo by SophieMuc