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The one time of the year when all car park etiquette goes out the window.

Surviving Christmas car parking…

There are some things parents have to endure in life; the pain of stepping on a piece of Lego, bad coffee from your favourite café and the end of each episode of Chicago Fire.

But there is, surprisingly, something that is worse than having to say goodbye to Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer for the Christmas break.

Christmas car parking.

And with the biggest shopping period of the year in full swing, just writing about it makes me wince.

Throughout the year these innocent little concrete structures seem harmless enough.

Fast forward to December and it resembles scenes from the Hunger Games.

There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more ferocious and fearless than a parent at Christmas time in a shopping centre car park. Unless of course it is a parent at Christmas time in a shopping centre car park that hasn’t had their morning coffee. They win.

As a seasoned shopper, I have some tips, tricks and observations that have gotten me through car parking dilemmas of Christmas past.

Arrive early.

Either during school drop time if you don’t have kids or just after school drop off if you do. Anything post 9.30am can result in a ‘bring on the biff’ scenario. For anyone that has a life outside of Christmas shopping and actually has stuff they have to do in the morning then, well, good luck. Yep that’s all I’ve got. Good luck.

Come December this is now void.

Invent a park.

Those yellow lines that mean you can’t park there during the rest of the year - yeah they become void. That spot that normally you wouldn’t even attempt to squeeze into – yep you’ll be right. Worst case scenario - the people who parked next to you climb back in through their boot. No biggie. Best option is to high tail it off the concrete onto the grass. If you don’t have a 4WD then you best invest in one before December.

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Car pool.

Car pooling is a great way to avoid the post-traumatic stress of Christmas car parking. But think it through. You will be shopping, you will need room. The friend with the Barina might seem like a good idea, I mean let’s face it those little run-abouts can squeeze into a spot smaller than a box gap, but can they perform under pressure? No decent sized junk is squeezing in that rear end. Pick the friend with the Hilux instead. They have great size rear, much like Kim Kardashian, as well as agility. Also a great car for inventing parks - see previous point.

Pram parks are fair game.

Oooo controversial I know but sorry these so called ‘pram parks’ are a courtesy thing and every single aspect of car park courtesy flies out the window and up to the North Pole on the first of December. I repeat PRAM PARKS ARE FAIR GAME. But to keep the peace I advise it is best you, at the very least, have a car seat in your car, and preferably a child in that seat. Actual pram is an optional extra. Pram park stealers beware – if you chose to do so, you do so at your own risk, and be warned you may face a parent channeling Arnie in Jingle All The Way.

What happens in the car park stays in the car park.

What happens in Christmas car parks stays in Christmas car parks.

See that crazy woman swearing madly and flippin’ the bird to the car in front of you; one kid under her arm and the other off in the distance attempting to escape the zoo car park. Look closer. Isn’t that the sweet P&C mum from school who brings everyone cookies?

What happened you ask? Christmas car parking happened, that’s what.

And under the oath of Christmas car parking you cannot tell ANYONE what you saw. Anything that happens in the car park STAYS in the car park. Her reputation stays intact. Period. NOT. A. WORD.

Sure, it isn’t for the faint hearted. But you can do this. You CAN tackle a shopping centre car park at Christmas time.

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Be strong people. Be Strong.

How do you handle Christmas car parking?

Now, obviously this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but we definitely don't support you copying any of these terrible parking jobs:

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