TSA does not like wrapped presents especially in carry-ons. I packed gift bags and tissue paper.
Check your flight status at least 2 days prior. Look at the airline's website to see if there are "notifications". If a storm is coming, the airline may let you change your flight at no cost to avoid the storm.
If delays do start, head to the gate of any earlier flights to see if you can be out on the stand by list. They usually only let you do this if you have carry on bags. In the case of major weather delays, they can be more accommodating.
If a delay means you will miss your connection, tell the gate agent. They may be able to route you on a different flight. If you will end up having to spend the night somewhere, ask if they can route you through a city where you know someone or if they can get you to a city where you could drive home.
And my best tip - Tell the agent your problem and then shut your mouth. 🤐 Give them a minute to think about how to solve it. If you are still having trouble, ask "What would you do in my situation?" This may trigger a different way of thinking about the problem.
It's a stressful time of year. Everyone is working long hours to help get you to where you want to go. All these employees are away from their families and their holiday to do list. Be kind. Safe travels.