Spoiler Alert: It is pure hell.
Christmas shopping is generally a pretty traumatic experience. Unless you’re one of these super organised individuals who manages to get everything done before the shops even think about whacking a Michael Buble Christmas album on repeat. In which case, kudos to you.
For the rest of us however, shopping for loved ones is high stress territory. Add your children to the mix and you’ll find yourself all too familiar with the inevitable stages of Christmas shopping with kids.
Preparation is key.
Prior to even walking out the door you need to have a game plan.
Write down exactly who you need to shop for and what you want to get them. Don’t think for one second that you’ll be afforded the luxury of browsing the aisles and meandering your way through department stores. This is an in and out mission.
Pack enough food to feed a small army. Water too. If your kids are anything like mine they need to eat on the half hour, every half hour. The fallout from failing to comply with this is monumental. Once you think you have enough food, add a couple more boxes of sultanas to your bag just to be sure.
Leave the house.
Although it sounds deceptively easy, this is a simple process. Leaving the house is perhaps one of the most drawn out exercises you will ever endure.
Dress the children, toilet the children, brush the teeth of the children, find shoes for the children, encourage the children to enter the car willingly, bribe the children to enter the car, have lengthy discussion with the children about why 56 of there closest stuffed toys can't join us in the car, negotiate the invitation for two stuffed toys only, diffuse tantrum resulting from the culling of stuffed toys, forcibly escort the children to the car, notice children are no longer wearing shoes/socks/pants, re-enter the locked house to locate missing items and ensure you have all the necessary requirements for the day.
Driving to the shops.
Decide which shops you are going to inflict your children on and make your way there. Referee countless arguments between your kids and try and drown them out by increasing the volume on the radio until your ears hurt.