Five Ways to Holiday Shopping Salvation

12/11/2012 05:28 EST | Updated 02/09/2013 05:12 EST

A daunting shopping list, annoying music at full volume, crowds of people walking with their heads down texting...welcome to the fresh hell that is holiday shopping.

The stress of shopping can make even the most festive, patient person want to start throwing elbows, but some of the trauma can be curbed.

Mind your manners

Basic, I know, but you'll less likely to exit a store in a huff over a brash salesperson if you give them the most pleasant version of yourself that you can muster. Kindness begets kindness.

Shop online

Save yourself the grief of braving the crowds and smugly shop from your couch in your PJ's. Ensure the delivery time fits your needs.

Have a realistic list

A list of the people you have to buy for is a great start, but won't help you much when you're blankly staring at the store directory. Have a few items written out for each person you need to buy for. If you can knock off several items in one store, your trip will be that much more efficient.

Be prepared

If you head out to shop on a Saturday afternoon, you're in for a more intense experience than if you were to duck out for an early Monday evening shop. Ensure that you are fed, caffeinated, and wearing comfortable clothes. Leave the massive puffer coat or towering heels for another day.

Work the system

Scope out the concierge services to see if you can check your coat or purchases as you shop. Is there gift wrapping you can take advantage of? Buy smaller, more portable items first, then save heavy items for last so you're not stuck lugging them around.

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