We’ve all seen those people in the shopping malls for Christmas. The ones who are overly aggressive with the cashier, literally fighting for the last item that they want. The ones you are afraid might snap at any moment.

The Stress of the season does bring out the worst in people sometimes, but you don’t have to be like that. There are a lot of different ways you can reduce your stress and organize your Christmas so you don’t become one of those people.

Get it together

First thing is to organize. The less you leave to chance, the less chance that things go wrong.

If at all possible avoid large crowds by shopping online. Many stores still offer last-minute deliveries or options to order online then pick up in-store without having to shop through the crowd.

My local grocery store will allow me to shop online, then pick up the groceries by just calling them when I get to the parking lot. They bring it right out to me, I no longer have to leave the comfort of my own car. Nor do I have to brave the crowds in the store. No risk of being hit by rogue shopping carts, no dealing with unruly children, nor do I have to wade through the endless lineups at the cash register.

If you do have to go to the store then there are several things you can do to improve your results. First, shop with a list. If you have a list of all the people you still need to buy for, and a list of what you’re hoping to get (with backups in case that the first item is no longer available) you’ll be able to get in and out more quickly.

Step two, do your research using flyers and the store’s website. When you already know what items are available in the store, and how much they’ll cost, that’s half the battle done. While there are exceptions to every store, 90% of the time if it’s not on their website they don’t carry it.

Get in the spirit

Next, wear a Santa Hat or Reindeer Antlers.

I know this suggestion may look a little odd but wearing a Santa hat or other fun Christmas accessory can really make a difference. Whenever anybody sees it they’re going to smile, they may even comment on how well you are getting into the holiday spirit. It can really make your day. Also, it is a little harder to be rude to somebody in fun festive gear.

When you’re in the parking lot, consider parking a little further away from the store. It may take a little longer to get back-and-forth, but there will be fewer cars further away and less likelihood of an accident. And remember, if somebody steals your spot, it’s not worth arguing over because another one will come along. Let them have it as a gift.

While you are out and about, remember to smile at those around you. Sharing a smile can go along way to making somebody else’s day and it will even reduce your own stress in the bargain.