Everyone loves the holidays, right? Well, maybe not when there’s still shopping to do and errands to run at the last minute. A relaxing holiday season can quickly devolve into a nightmare when buying those last few forgotten gifts, handling can’t-wait academic forms, or dealing with the post office or DMV. At QLess, we’re experts at taking care of business in the flesh, whether at the store or the government office, so we’re putting together this handy survival guide for when you absolutely must go do what Millennials call “adulting” when you should be kicking back, singing carols, spinning the dreidel, or getting angry about Starbucks cups. 

Note that this will not be advice about getting everything out of the way early, but for when that sled has flown and you have no choice but to brave the holiday rush. 

Get On the Nice List

Wherever you end up having to make an in-person appearance, keep in mind the people serving you are also people doing something they’d rather not be doing — working over the holidays. Stereotypes about snobbish store clerks and grumpy DMV agents usually have their roots in thoughtless or rude customers. So don’t be that person, and instead treat both your fellow visitors and the employees you meet with kindness and courtesy. 

If you’re really feeling the holiday spirit, consider leaving them a treat or small gift (or just a generous tip) for spending their holidays making your life run smoothly. Spreading joy even in difficult situations helps to reduce your own stress, and if you do meet a real Scrooge, killing them with kindness is easier and less stressful than letting them ruin your holiday.

And on that note, it’s extra nice to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and observe social distancing so we can all one day celebrate a holiday without worrying about COVID-19.

Stick to Your List.. and Have a Plan B

Make a checklist of everything you need to do and buy, then take care of it in order. Sorting items by store department helps but isn’t necessary so long as you keep moving and don’t linger, as hanging around, especially in stores, leads to impulse buys and arms full of unwanted items. 

If shopping for presents and unable to find a particular item, it helps to have a backup plan. Depending on how late in the season it is, there really is nothing wrong with giving a gift card with a handwritten note. 

Use Modern Innovations

Holiday errands are hard no matter what, so nobody will judge you for using every technological resource at your fingertips to minimize effort and stress. 

For example, you know what’s extra unfun during the holiday season? Looking and paying for parking. Don’t risk getting spot-stolen by road-raging last-minute shoppers — call a rideshare service and relax with your parcels in the back seat. 

If any steps at all can be handled online, you may want to take care of it there. So long as deliveries are on time and the paperwork is all valid, you can minimize what you need to get done in person.

Whenever possible, find out if your destinations allow online appointments, especially if you can join a virtual queue. That way you can plan to arrive at a certain time, take care of your shopping or other business immediately upon arrival, and depart on your next errand. We would say this much more efficient and relaxed way of taking care of business will make you feel superior to the poor folks waiting in a physical line, but that goes against our first piece of advice. 

[Insert your holiday greeting of choice]

No matter how much you dread going out during these last few weeks of 2021, we hope you stay safe, stay smart, have a wonderful holiday season, and join us in the new year for fresh insights on reshaping the way we take care of business.