Holiday Shopping Etiquette: Tame Your Shopzilla

Here are a few simple tips to help make you holiday shopping experience a pleasure rather then a frustrating chore.

  1. Set boundaries for your children and teens before you leave the house. Make it clear before-hand that there will be no running around the store and that your child should not touch or play with any of the items in the store. If you allow your teen to shop alone be sure you have set a time and place to meet back together.
  2. Make sure small children are well rested and fed before you go. This will prevent having to deal with embarrassing temper tantrums.
  3. Make sure YOU are well rested before you go. This way you’ll avoid becoming easily irritated and having a short fuse while shopping.
  4. Be courteous to other drivers in the parking lot. No sense in having road rage in the parking lot, you’ll just end up dragging that same attitude into the store and wind up having a horrible shopping experience. Just take your time and play it safe.
  5. Avoid blocking the aisles with your cart or stroller. Be mindful of people around you. Try to use the same type of rules you would on the road with allowing people to pass and get by.
  6. Speak to the clerks and employees of the store with courtesy and kindness. Remember during the holidays there are a great more people in the stores and the staff has to be kind to everyone. Don’t make it any harder on them than it needs to be. A bright smile and a cheery hello can do wonders.
  7. Don’t grab at items while other shoppers are looking at them. Shopping is not a rugby match. Sure you want to get to those sale items first, but don’t make a spectacle of yourself in doing so.
  8. Refrain from making nasty remarks about other customers, the store staff and goods in the store. If you witness someone behaving badly in public they more than likely could care less what your opinion of them is so keep yours to yourself. Also if you don’t like the merchandise at the store you’re in, leave and go to another store.
  9. Don’t push or crowd at sale tables or the checkout counter. You never know what little thing can set another person off so to avoid any possible ugly confrontation play nice!
  10. Avoid prolonged cell phone conversations while shopping. Try not to walk around the store chatting on your phone a mile a minute. It’s easier to pay attention to your surroundings if you’re not on your phone too long. Distracted shoppers are a prime target for pick pocket and package thieves.
  11. You should not ask or expect a clerk waiting upon a customer to leave that person and attend to you. Wait patiently for your turn.
  12. Don’t get annoyed with the sales clerk for doing their job i.e. Check/ credit card approval, ID verification. No the clerk is not picking on you personally. Specific rules are required by each store individually so don’t get all bent out of shape if one store checks your information and the other doesn’t.
  13. NEVER talk on the cell phone while at the checkout counter. It’s rude to chat on right in front of someone’s face, just tell your party that you’ll call them back after you’ve finished your transaction.
  14. Hand your payment to the cashier rather than putting it on the counter. Your transaction is with being done with a real live human being so be kind and use eye-to-eye and hand-to-hand contact your clerk will appreciate it!

Finally, be cheerful, it’s the Holiday Season!

Holiday Tipping. What is the Right Amount to Give?

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It is important to always write a note of thanks to accompany your tip. Don't just hand over the cash. The individual should know this is something special above and beyond what you would normally pay them. You don't necessarily have to purchase a holiday card. A simple thank you card is sufficient. (Purchase from our E Style Stationery Collection).

Here are some guidelines:

  • Babysitter (regular) -  One evening's pay plus a small gift from your child.
  • Barber Cost - Cost of one haircut and/or a gift.
  • Child's teacher - Public school teachers are not permitted to accept cash. Be sure to check your school's policy first on gift giving. Give a small individual gift or join up with other parents and give a combined gift from all.
  • Day care provider - $25 - $70 dollars plus a small gift from your child.
  • Hair stylist - $10 to $60 and/or a gift.
  • Mail carrier - Government regulations permit carriers to accept gifts up to $20 in value. But they are not permitted to accept cash.
  • Nursing home employee - A small gift.
  • Pool Cleaner - Cost of one cleaning.
  • Yard and garden worker - $20 to $50.
  • Personal Trainer - Cost of one session.