Today’s lesson: avoid all superstores in the days leading up to a major retail holiday that also allegedly celebrates the birth of the savior.

Driving home from a “hey! I just got off work at 3pm because it’s almost Christmas! How cool!” drink with my friends L. and M., I took the secret back way to sidestep rush hour loop traffic, mentally patting myself on the back for remembering the shortcut.

I had not counted on Target. Traffic coming from all directions was at a standstill for a solid three blocks approaching the Target right behind our building. People were actually leaving their cars on the road and just getting out to walk to the Target. It was some sort of bizarre Target pilgrammage. This year, in contrast to past years, I had a Plan. I shopped early in an effort to avoid the panicked last minute shopping. Next year, I will have to remember to include traffic maps in my Plan.