Catherine O'Malley doesn't just run Fairlane Town Center as its general manager—she's an avid shopper, too.
And while shopaholics everywhere look forward to the holiday season, O'Malley offered her tips for staying safe and having fun while shopping, whether at Fairlane, in the mad rush of Toys 'R' Us on Black Friday, or picking up a few gifts from small businesses.
1. "Make sure you're comfortable," O'Malley said, sharing that she often sees Black Friday shoppers at the mall in pajamas and slippers. Is it comfy? Then go for it! It's better to get the shopping done without blisters on your feet than to look perfect.
2. Stay hydrated and fueled. At Fairlane, O'Malley shared, several eateries will open at midnight with the stores on Black Friday to make sure shoppers aren't running on empty.
3. This tip is for all of those oversized purse lovers out there: "Don't carry a handbag if you don't have to," O'Malley advises. Instead, keep all cards, cash and IDs in a wallet in your pocket, or a small purse that can be worn close to the body.
4. Do not—I repeat, do NOT—put your bags down. It's an open invitation for a would-be thief to snag some free gifts at your expense.
5. That said, if you have too many bags, O'Malley says that guests at Fairlane can always get assistance from mall security staff to take their bags out to their car. And if you do make a shopping pit-stop anywhere, adds O'Malley: "Put them in the trunk of your car—not your back seat."
All in all, make sure that holiday shopping is as much fun as the gift-giving itself. Don't stress, and don't overdo it.
"It's stressful enough during the holidays," O'Malley said. "We want shoppers to have a good experience.