ONE MISSION —The Ultimate Christmas Shopping Experience


My friend Ken has forever solved the Christmas shopping dilemma for me.

Here’s how it works.

1. Make sure that you understand the strategy: One Day, One Purpose, ALL ALONE. That’s the ONE MISSION.

2.  Set a full day, morning till evening—one full day—for you to spend alone at the stores. Plan on being out from 9am to 10pm. Make sure your spouse and family know that you won’t be home for any meals that day.

3. Remember, ONE PURPOSE—You can’t have anything scheduled that day that would cause you to have to rush or hurry.

4.  Next, several days prior to the target-day, equip yourself with a music listening device and make sure that you select holiday music that you love to listen to that quiets your busy spirit. This is an essential ingredient. If you say that you’ll do without the music, then Ken (and I) cannot guarantee the results of your experience.

5. Dress comfortably. Layers are best. You can always shed or take on by going to the car. Don’t bundle up—you’ll be too hot. Don’t wear to little—you’ll be too cold.  You get the point.

6. You take your meals out, beginning with a good breakfast. Today you want a Farmer’s breakfast. The strategy here: breakfast is the least expensive meal of the day. Eat a big one. Less spent later on lunch and dinner. I can already see your wheels turning: (well, I’ll eat breakfast at home, pack a lunch and save money that way). Nice try!!  The problem here?  You just RUINED the reward system that is built into this day where you not only get all your shopping done in ONE DAY, but . . . you also get rewarded with a memorable experience (and a little well-deserved break from fixing your own meals).  So don’t cheat at this point. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner while out shopping are a must if you’re going to be a purist of the ONE MISSION this Christmas season.

7. Now, beginning with your list, TAKE YOUR TIME in the stores. You’re in NO HURRY. You have no place other than the present to be.

You’re listening to nice music. You can smile at people. Be nice to the store clerks. So what if someone cuts ahead of you in line. Smile, and enjoy your music and think about that steak you’re going to have for dinner later. A steak that you don’t have to cook. Someone else is going to cook and serve you tonight. You’re just working down your Christmas list.

8. Make sure that you take extra money along for gift-wrapping. No matter what you have to do, make SURE that the gift-wrapping people at the mall wrap your gifts for you. Not only does this save you an extra day, but . . . they do a nice job, your gifts will look nicer, the ladies who serve you will get a little extra for their trouble (tip them, it’s nice), and you’ll be able to arrive at home without the stress of wondering where to hide your newly purchased gifts. You won’t have to struggle with finding an extra day to set aside for wrapping. Oh . . and who has to go to buy wrapping paper, scotch tape, pens, labels, sharpen scissors . . . get the point [no pun intended]??

9. This is not Ken’s, but my own added little tip: Make sure you get a Café Vanilla Frapaccino at Starbucks (size is immaterial, although on a day like this, I prefer Venti, with an extra shot of espresso, no whip—not that I need the caffeine, but I love that coffee flavor with the Vanilla).  I normally arrive at Starbuck’s at about 3pm, when I hit that afternoon slump for about an hour.

10. Essential—keep the negative self-talk to an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. No self-deprecating stuff:

“Well who’s going to want that?”

“Why would you ever pick that color?”

“No one’s going to buy you anything this nice.”

“All that money you spent today could have housed and fed the poor of Detroit”

“If you weren’t so chunky, you wouldn’t be whining about carrying these packages.”

Just say, “Quiet!!  Wrong Address. I’m not listening to you . . . “

Oh yeah, and if you work a job where you get tips, set your day as close to Christmas as possible (more time to accrue more tips).

And . . . enjoy yourself!!





One response

  1. Loved your piece(s) on the "Mission" – Christmas shopping made simple.  I should try it.  Can I have the day off?


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