UNITED STATES—Time is ticking people, you don’t have a lot of time to finish that Christmas shopping that you may have put off till the last minute. I was at the mall this past weekend, I believe Friday, the days all collide with the holidays so close by. The shopping mall was indeed busy. Something I quickly realized was the fact that the return and online order pickup line was massive. It was not small; it was large, time consuming and just a headache sitting in that line.

I ran into something that I had hoped not to deal with in 2021: panic buying. There were a few people on my list that I forgot to get gifts for. So now I’m at the mall, a big one to say the least, a week before Xmas where everyone is out and about and the hustle and bustle is too much. A few of the stores that I visited were crowded, there was a wait, but I enjoyed all the energy from a lot of people. People were in a good mood, there was positive energy and people were in that festive mood.

That is something that is great to feel right around Xmas, especially with the chaos that we have endured in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. I did notice quite a few people wearing their mask and I was happy to see that, but at the same time, there were a ton of people NOT wearing a mask. That is bad considering this surge that is happening across the country right now and things closing or shutting down again as a result and a precaution people.

Back to the shopping rush, as I’ve discovered you just CANNOT go to the retailers or malls midday or right before they’re about to close. They’re not just going to be busy, they are going to be swamped because let’s face it: many companies are facing a worker shortage. That did annoy me a bit, people in line complaining. I’m like, “Hello, it could be far worse, you know the situation, just shut up and patiently wait; there is nothing else you can do, but that.”

Most of the retailers did a great job getting customers in and out, however, that panic buying set in for me and I found myself purchasing items that I didn’t even want. I knew it when I had the items in my hand, yet I still purchased them and now I have to deal with that dreadful notion of having to return to a retailer, wait in a line and return things that I knew I shouldn’t have purchased to begin with people.

The one good thing about the panic buying is you know you have money going back to your credit card, store credit card, debit card or cash in your pocket, but it takes time to get those things properly handled. What does that mean? If you didn’t buy the item at the last minute you would not have run into that problem to begin with. So after leaving the mall this past weekend, I thought I was completely done, only to realize, darn, you still have 1 to 2 gifts left to get people. And I’m likely going to have to venture out late in the day on December 23 or the dreaded Christmas Eve to deal with some chaos that I don’t want to deal with people. As long as you keep patience, breathe and just realize all will turn out fine, the shopping hustle and bustle should be fine people, just remember Christmas only comes once a year.

Written By Zoe Mitchell