The holidays are a fantastic time. People are a bit more joyous and friendly. Family is on their best behavior. No one gets in trouble and people experience low amounts of stress. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was the reality? While those are certainly the expectations, it isn’t always the way things are.
For many people, the holidays are stressful. People are anxious and in a hurry. Families argue and fight. Alcohol served in copious amounts means that people may get into trouble during the holidays that they wouldn’t find themselves in during other times of year. And you. You are anxious because you haven’t even begun to shop yet.
The good news is the holidays can be what we make them. You are in control over your own attitude and behavior, and this can be the happiest time of year if you want it to be. While there is nothing we can do about your procrastination, we can certainly offer you some safety tips if you will be heading out to the stores in these last days before Christmas.
Try not to beat yourself up too badly. You are only one of thousands who put off holiday shopping until the last minute. Unfortunately, would-be criminals are well aware of this fact and count on malls and stores to be packed with hurried, stressed out shoppers. Before you head to the mall, take a moment to read these safety tips. Your physical and financial health may just thank you for it.
Sure, you can carry a dozen shopping bags from your car to your front door without issue. You would rather load yourself down than have to walk back and forth to your vehicle multiple times. Try to get out of this mindset during your holiday shopping trips.
Having your arms loaded down with packages makes you a target. Not to mention that it’s simply not safe. If you know that you will be making several purchases, take a friend along and ask them to help you carry your bags. If you don’t want to take a friend, make sure that you are walking back and forth to your car to store your gifts.
You may remember the Target debacle a couple of holiday seasons ago. There was a huge problem with their credit card readers and thousands of shoppers were affected. If you are worried about your bank account or even your identity, consider buying and using a disposable credit card. You can load the card with as much money as you like and use it for your Christmas shopping. The cards don’t contain any of your personal information, and they are not tied to your bank account.
3. Keep Your Eyes Open
Don’t whip your wallet out before you are asked to pay. Think about how long you really stand there with your wallet in your hand before you put your card through the machine or hand over your cash. Many of us are in this habit. It takes only seconds for a criminal to run by you, grab your wallet and head for the front doors. Always know who is surrounding you before you pay. If you feel that something is “off,” it probably is. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to please back away from you.
4. The Right Bag
Speaking of having your wallet ripped out of your hands, make sure that you are wearing the right bag and wearing it correctly. If you will be carrying a purse, wear it across your body and under your coat. Keep your purse in front of your body. A swinging purse is an easy target. A clutch or a handbag are not the best choices in a crowded store.
5. Hold Onto Your Keys
You don’t want to be at the side of your car fumbling for your keys. Get your keys out of your bag or your pocket while you are inside the store, and keep your keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle. This will help to ensure you are in your car as soon as possible. Thieves look for people who are occupied and not paying attention. Don’t let this be you.
You may be a last minute shopper, but you can still shop smart. Use the tips above if you will be heading out this week or next to look for just the right gift for that special someone. No one wants to begin their holidays as a victim.
If you are injured this holiday season in West Palm Beach or the surrounding area, call our experienced team of personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your case and advise you of the options available to you. You may have grounds to seek compensation in a court of law. Your first consultation is always free.