So you've done it. You've successfully procrastinated gift-buying until Boxing Day. Those carefree days of laziness come at a cost, and you're about to pay it by standing in line forever. Here's are some things that might ease your suffering a little bit. But just remember: you asked for this.
One of the most tried and true methods of time killing is having a stiff drink or three, and why should your time standing in line at the local shopping centre be an exception? OK, maybe there are a few, but the flask tie gets around all of them. Classy, surreptitious and efficient, this alcoholic accessory will let you work up a little buzz that might even last all the way to the cash register. Sure, you could also not problem-drink in public but where's the fun in that? It's the holidays! ~$25.
Shopping means spending a lot of time on your feet, and that's before you even get to the "waiting in line" part. If you're trying to squeeze all or most of Christmas into a single shopping trip, it's going to take a serious toll on your soles. These Superfeet insoles can help take the edge off, and maybe keep you nimble enough to sneak past anyone in line ahead of you who fell asleep standing up. ~$35.
Until you have to confront a curmudgeonly cashier, you aren't going to want to have to hear any of the annoying din around you. You have to concentrate on shovelling random, hopefully passable gifts into your cart. Earbuds are the right way to go. Just make sure you keep some of your wits about you so you don't get hip-checked on your way down the toy aisle. ~$44.
Apps Apps Apps
A great way to kill time anywhere is staring at your smartphone, but just make sure ahead of time that you've got the best apps for the job. Twitter and Facebook are solid go-tos, but if you don't want to read about how your other friends are done with shopping, maybe get yourself a hyped-up Spotify playlist ahead of time, or Pocket some of that "long form journalism" everyone keeps talking about. Free-$10.
Santa (allegedly) has a whole army of elves to help him do his bidding, but here you are out at a packed mall, slogging through the aisles and grabbing a whole bunch of gifts he's bound to get some of the credit for. It's OK to hate the guy a little bit in these final, stressful moments. For therapy, take out some of that agression on him, or at least something looks like him. Squeeze until he really is a bowlful of jelly. ~$3.