Also, even if you plan to stop for something to eat, pack a snack just in case, Madhok advises.
"You don't want to wait around in the food court," she says. "You're going to be standing in enough lines without having to wait to get food. Overall your goal for the day should be to stand in as few lines as humanly possible."
A healthy dose of patience and good will
If you let the stresses of the day get the best of you, you'll lose your temper in the parking lot before you even get into the store, McKee cautions.
"Make sure you've had your coffee or your glass of wine or whatever you need to get yourself into a place of calmness to be in the Christmas spirit," she says. "This is the time of year when we focus on good will towards all. We have to rise above our momentary distress and think, 'Wait, this isn't all about me.'"
In addition to grinning and bearing it when things don't go your way, McKee advises starting off the day as the "bigger person."
"If you see a lady juggling a baby in line, let her go ahead of you," she says. "If someone bumps into you, even if it's their fault, be the first one to say 'Excuse me.' Don't lose the Christmas spirit in a dash of presents. Thats not what this is all about."
— By Kathryn Tuggle for MainStreet