DAY 5: Shopping


The fantasy: beautiful display windows, Christmas lights, ornaments, customers humming carols, smiles and cheer.

The reality: crowds, chaos, merchandise strewn everywhere, long lines, bad moods and stress.

The solution: shop with strategy.

Check out our rules for surviving the season where retail therapy is anything but.


RULE 1: Shop off hours. Even if you need to take an hour in the afternoon and work an hour later to make up for it. Even if you need to take a full day off. Shopping in a less-cluttered, less-populated environment makes a world of difference.

RULE 2: Make friends with sales associates. They will let you know when items go on sale, honor price adjustments, alert you to special discounts and more.

RULE 3: Dress in layers. Sometimes stores are freezing, sometimes they are boiling and sometimes you have to run in and out of them going from freezing to boiling and back again. Wear a tee or tank under a cardi under a jacket with a scarf.

RULE 4: Accessorize. Not for fashion but for function. Wear comfortable shoes. Pick a cross-body or belt purse. Wear fingerless gloves.

RULE 5: Refuel. You will need both patience and stamina. Patience and stamina require energy and energy requires fuel. Toss a protein bar in your purse and when you’re running low, use it to charge up.


Bring a friend along on your shopping trip to divide and conquer! Have one person wait on the line while the other picks up the items on their list to save time.” – Cindy Diaz

Give those tired feet a much-deserved break with this warming and soothing at-home hydro-therapy foot massager, valued at $50.