Much as you try and put it off, inevitably at this time of year you might find yourself at a mall, or a supermarket. These can be bad enough year round, but at Christmas they are boss-level. To get through this while finding that perfect something and remaining sane, you need planning. The best way is to figure out what you are trying to get beforehand, exactly where you might find, get in, and get out. But, there will still be distractions. To get around those, you need:
-An MP3 player
I found this a good track for the purpose at this time last year (not that you’d actually want to paint the mall walls black or anything. That might make the experience worse than it already is.)
You want to start while you’re still in the carpark (not getting to the carpark or in the car itself, you kind of want the opposite effect there, unless you drive a bumper car and have a very good relationship with both your insurer and local law enforcement). That way the track builds with your anticipation as you approach the entrance and you enter the building before the beat kicks in. That also gives you time to pause and survey the melee (action movie style, while the camera does a slow crab around you), steely of eye and grim of jaw, while deciding your course of action. Experience with sports that require dodging and blocking is a plus; you need to be able to keep a good pace while automatically moving around people without flattening them. Once the BPM goes up, you're off.
Having got amped up with the drum and bass, you want to keep the vibe flowing. Anything will do, as long as it is driven and loud, like so (some NSFW):
Do this right, and you can shut out almost all distractions, including shop assistants, and particularly sales reps with stands you have to walk past. Whether or not you turn it down when actually purchasing is up to you, although it is useful to remember that if someone is staring at you while smiling politely they have probably asked you a question.
Do this right, and your shopping can be done before you know it, and you can play something like this in triumph as you drive away.