Five rules to survive the holidays

With Christmas approaching, the holiday shopping season has begun. This is a time to behold the many fights between crazies over on-sale waffle makers, screaming kids in the toy aisle, and desperate spouses suffering migraines as they search for that perfect gift for their significant other.

Black Friday. Hell Day for retail stores. The focus has shifted to battles over cheap flat screens so severe, people are whippin’ out pepper spray and their fightin’ words — happy holidays indeed.

Navigating those traffic-jammed streets and department stores can be difficult. For that matter, here are a five easy rules to survive the holiday season while saving time, money and frustration during the month of tinsel and wrapping paper.

Rule one: Stay away from every mall and department store. When it comes to holiday shopping, only go out once, stay in the house for the rest of the time. Battling through wave after wave of mothers toting bags full of gifts is tiring and can drive a person crazy. Plan all of your shopping either for one full day or go at it online. But shipping is always another issue. Don’t venture out into the cold and madness of the stores and enjoy the peace and quiet in the comfort of your warm home.

Rule two: Drown out every single piece of Christmas music. Artists make holiday albums to make an extra buck or two. Because of this, we are all subject to horrendous Christmas cover songs. Take some ear plugs with you into the store on your single shopping day (see first rule). This will replace the terrible techno covers of carols and the temper tantrums at the same time. It kills two turtle doves with one stone.
Rule three. This rule is more so for college students. Enjoy the relaxation time. The solution is to stock up on food, books, movies and video games. Say goodbye to endless boredom and your mind’s tendency to go stir crazy.

Rule four: A homemade gift is more meaningful than an overly expensive gift. Plus, you save some money. Simple enough.

Fifth and final rule: Learn how to drive in the snow. There is nothing worse than getting stuck behind a driver that slows down to a crawl because a snowflake hit their windshield. Don’t hit your brakes going down a hill when it is snowing (that actually makes your slide). Make sure your tires are ready to take on icy roads. And keep your windows clear with wiper blades and wiper fluid. Don’t forget to defrost your car windows so Kenton Dr. doesn’t turn into Frogger.

So there you have it. Five rules that should keep you sane through the holiday months, no guarantees. So sit back, sip some cocoa, stay warm by the fireplace, catch up on some sleep and enjoy your time off. Enjoy the holidays.