Man-Up at the Mall: A Guy’s Holiday Game Plan

Three words: Extended Holiday Hours. If you’re a guy, the acronym probably sums up your opinion of seasonal shopping pretty well (“EHH…”). But unfortunately, this disinterest does little to shield you from the mall-time mayhem. One way or another, you invariably end up accompanying your wife or girlfriend to her yearend retail pilgrimage. And it doesn’t even matter if you’ve been naughty or nice!

“Sure, I’ll meet you in Sporting Goods in an hour,” she claims. But by lunch, you’re still waiting, and ready to take a candy cane to the gut just to feel alive.

At Elfster, we think the secret to avoiding the doldrums in a situation like this is to have a game plan. So to reach out to dudes the world over, we stepped away from our workbench and designed a detailed agenda to help whittle away those “extended hours” at the mall. We know it’s no trip to the lumber yard, but compared to twelve hours of world-class thumb-twiddling, we think it’ll suffice.

9:00 am-

Shoot the breeze with the coffee shop cashier as if he were your favorite bartender. Don’t leave until you’re cut off.

10:00 am-

Arrange a “Fantasy Football”-like draft, predicting the lineup of charges that will soon appear on your credit card bill.

11:00 am

Play a few rounds of “Bounce the Quarter” into the charity collection bucket.  Wait until an adoring onlooker asks for your name, then silently walk away into the proverbial sunset.

12:00 pm-

Taunt drivers in the peak-hour parking lot by walking to the car, dropping-off a few bags and walking back in… Whistle a feel-good holiday tune, and repeat until the thrill wears off.

1:00 pm-

Find a bench, read-up on your Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and bask in your newfound popularity among single moms.

2:00 pm-

Lay low in the Men’s Room after the unexpected influx of marriage proposals.

3:00 pm-

Humor yourself by finding ironic new locations for the “Caution: Wet Floor” sign. (Perhaps Santa’s lap?)

4:00 pm-

Evade mall security by posing as a beefy male mannequin in store windows.

5:00 pm-

“Test-out” new computers at the electronics store… complete your own online shopping in the meantime!

6:00 pm-

Take a rest by kicking up your feet in the nearest sample massage chair.

7:00 pm-

Commiserate with the other men of the mall by coordinating a “Holiday Husbands” support group.

8:00 pm-

Joyously reenact “Rocky” on the escalator when closing is finally announced.

Follow this game plan and we guarantee you’ll be ready to do it all over again tomorrow. (You’ll also be in tippy-top shape for the Lumberjack Jamboree of Elf Week!)

Photo credits: notsogood photography, David Sifry,, Brookestone


  1. LOL – hilarious! I’m going to forward to my bf. It is so true, guys are MUCH more attractive when you know they understand how important emotional intelligence is.Using EQ could probably help you get out of going to the Extended Holiday Hours in the first place!

  2. best game plan ever. i’d keep my copy of emotional intelligence 2.0 handy to read on that massage chair! i can’t think of a better way to prep for the inevitable awkward moments i’ll share with a few select family members, who will remain nameless. they’ll all be getting their own copies of emotional intelligence 2.0, of course.

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