It’s that time of year again. Time for the streets to be filled with the light from people’s houses. Time for family rooms to be filled with trees and decorations. And time for the stores to be filled with people. You likely don’t usually enjoy the crowds that Christmas brings to the stores, but this year, trying to make your way through swarms of people seems next to impossible. When you are on your best crutches, nothing is easy. And when there are more people around getting in your way, everything is even harder. Here are a few tips to help you get your errands done during the Christmas season, even with the crowds and on crutches.
Tip#1: Shop Odd Hours
If you usually go to the store at a certain time and there always seems to be long lines and lots of people in the aisles, choose another time to shop. Try going first thing in the morning or evening when most people are getting ready for work. Avoid weekends and shop instead in the middle of the afternoon when school is still in session. After you try a few different times and realize how much easier it is to shop with less of a crowd around you, you may never go back to your regular hours.
Tip#2: Shop Online
There are many things you can buy online and this year, you might want to take advantage of that option. Instead of fighting the crowds in the malls, simply buy your gifts online. You will likely still have to find a way to get your groceries and other necessities, but at least you can avoid the larger portions of the crowds.
Tip#3: Ask for Help
If you have a long list and you know you will wear yourself out gathering the items and fighting the crowds, ask a friend, neighbor, or family member to fill your list for you. Those people have to go out into the crowds anyways and some of them actually really enjoy shopping and spending other people’s money. You can return the favor by buying a nice present for that person online or even with a gift card or another item.
Tip#4: Look into Alternatives to Crutches
Part of what makes shopping so hard are the crutches you have to hobble around on with your injury. If you look into modern alternatives to crutches you might find that the crowds are not as bad as you thought. Most can be purchased or rented, which is often the most cost option if you are only going to be off your foot for less than three months. All can be ordered online and delivered directly to your doorstep. The Hands Free Crutch, for example, will help you regain the use of both of your hands and walk much like normal. The Knee Walker will allow you to scoot yourself up and down aisles at a rapid pace and the Seated Scooter will allow you to rest while you wait in line. Any of the three options will make shopping easier, even if the crowds are large as always.
Tip#5: Reduce Shopping
There are going to be things that you simply HAVE to go out and buy this year, but take a look at your list and see how you can reduce it to the bare minimum items. Shopping is hard on you, given your injury and current condition. Use that state as a good excuse to scale back this year. You might even find that you enjoy avoiding the crowds and find more meaning in the season itself.