On WBSM’S Barry Richard Show, New Bedford mayor John Mitchell said he is a last-minute Christmas shopper. Granted, a mayor is a busy fellow with running a city and this year, an election campaign was added to the mix, but he’s not alone. There are plenty people, mostly males, who will be out last minute shopping this weekend.

When I used to do Christmas shopping, I was the guy at the mall, running for stores, taking what I could find leftover on the shelves. Fortunately, I got married and turned over the shopping duties to my wife. I have retired for the last-minute shopping runs, but I have retained the knowledge to be successful in the quest for holiday purchasing greatness.

  1. PLAN AHEAD-Mapping out the shopping plan is important. If you are planning to attack a mall, the last thing you want to do is to go from one end to the other. Try to keep close to where you are and don’t jump around from place. Also avoid driving to multiple places, because that is a definite rookie mistake. You don’t want to be buying something in Fall River and then realize the other thing you want is in Fairhaven. Remember gift cards are a good thing.
  2. AVOID PEOPLE YOU KNOW-This might be tough for Mayor Mitchell, but the last thing you want to do is engage in chit-chat. I suggest pulling a hat down over your face like Tom Brady does when he goes out in public. Move quickly and never pause as that will keep people from keeping up with you.
  3. NO FOOD OR DRINK-I made this mistake one year and ended up with a belly filled with nachos and no present in the bag. Make sure you eat and drink before you go on your shopping journey.
  4. NO COMPARING PRICES-This is reserved for real shoppers, the kind who do their Christmas shopping in August. You have to realize that you pay the price for being a last-minute shopper and have to take what you find.
  5. BE ALERT AND CAREFUL-One year, I was last-minute shopping at the Dartmouth Mall and had to leap over a fallen shopper to get a gift I wanted. Fortunately, I got the gift. Unfortunately, I ended up in traction at Tobey Hospital. Not the way you want to spend Christmas Eve.

In the mayor’s case or his fellow last-minute South Coast shoppers, there is always the Dunkin Donuts’ bailout plan.Stories in the area will be open on Christmas morning in case you forgot someone. After all, nothing says the holidays like a pound of dark roast coffee. If you are a last-minute shopper, you might want to get some for yourself and your very helpful shopping advice columnist.

(Mike Hardman is the Digital Managing Editor for WBSM. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.)