Shopping Frenzy Diana Ong
Well, since it’s looking bleak and horrible Christmassy out today we might as well start thinking about the upcoming capital expenditure festive season. I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in these parts, the day after Halloween (this Saturday) is the official start of Christmas Shopping Frenzy.
Halloween crap disappears from store shelves with lightening speed to be replaced with equal rapidity by Christmas crap. Decorations go up, canned carols echo through malls, the round of office parties begins, craft shows abound, the school pagents start getting thrown together and the shopping revs into fifth gear. All the gates of hell open up and we get sucked into the fiery vortex of Christmas shopping anguish, torment and lamentations…
make a list I need a list where’s my list I need 25 gifts and I only have 23 what do I get dad there aren’t enough tickle me woody allen dolls they’re all sold out sally will be so disappointed christmas is ruined my visa’s all maxed out I have no more money christmas is ruined I only spent $500 on billy and $550 on all the other kids I need another gift what about dinner who’s coming for dinner I need to shop for food are the stores open late I can’t find batteries where do I park the lot is full I don’t have enough wrapping paper the bows don’t match our decorations are out of style we can’t find a tree the trees are too expensive should we go for artificial christmas is ruined I don’t have time to decorate when will we put the rudolph on our roof I need to find something for the secret santa party for the office I have two holiday concerts to go to in one night what do I do I have no time i haven’t done my baking yet christmas is ruined i have 12 parties to go to and nothing to wear first thing new year’s i do on a diet how many teachers do I have to get mugs for this year what about the hockey coach does he get a gift the mailman the garbage guy my hairdresser the boss my secretary
Of course some people enjoy this. If you do, go for it. Knock yourself out.
If you don’t, here’s one word of advice: Internet
Yes, for the last five years or so I’ve done all my Christmas shopping on the Internet. I sort of phased it in during the five years or so before that; buying some gifts online and some in person. I know it’s nice to touch stuff, see what it really looks like, try it out, smell it, check it over, etc., etc. But, weighed against the freedom from mall horror shows, I can live without it.
Pretty much everything is available online. Most of it can be shipped to you or anywhere else you want it to go within a couple of days. And most places ship free if you order enough. Or you can pick it up yourself if the store is in your area. And, you’ve still got time to check things out and return them if it’s not exactly what you wanted.
No lines, no crowds, no traffic snarls, no parking problems, no weather issues, no impulse shopping and you can do it all in your pajamas in front of your fireplace with a steaming mug or sparkling glass of something holidayish in one hand.
They even gift wrap if you want, so you can be just as surprised on Christmas morning as the person receiving the gift.
Best things to buy via Internet? Books, magazine subscriptions, toys, electronics, hard to find/rare/unusual gifts, personalized stuff, gift certificates – anything really.
I know, you’re thinking it sounds so impersonal, right? Well, Christmas is kind of an obligatory, generic, gift-giving time anyway. It’s mandatory to buy a gift or gifts for certain people in your life at that particular time. That already makes it impersonal in my books. Also, going insane is not my idea of a fun time and most of the Christmasmaniacs I know are more or less insane by December 25th.
So, I try to keep myself out of most of the craziness and save my personal shopping for other times when I’m relaxed and maybe happen upon something I think someone might like and am thinking only about that particular person and not ticking them off a list of dozens of other people I have to buy for.