Today is Cyber Monday. This past Friday was Black Friday. It is the season for mailboxes stuffed with catalogs and email in-boxes stuffed with emails. Everyone wants your Christmas dollars.
Thankfully, I didn’t hear a lot about stores opening on Thanksgiving. In the past it seems that the big box stores were competing with each other to see which one could open first and be the first to get your money. It’s sad to think that Thanksgiving became more about getting a customer’s money than about giving thanks with family and friends. I was also happy that I didn’t see any news stories about people being trampled with the mad rush to enter the stores. I was pleased to see that a lot of companies started their Black Friday deals early this year, most likely because Thanksgiving was so late.
There are two ways to shop for Christmas: on-line and in-person. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
On-line shopping is wonderful. I can wear my jammies, sip my hot chocolate, and browse the internet. Then the packages are conveniently sent to my door, workplace, or another safe place. One big drawback to shopping on-line is the porch pirate. These scum troll neighborhoods looking for packages to steal. What is amazing is that they have no idea what is in those packages. It might be an order of incontinence pads, or something else they don’t really want. I’m glad that companies are coming up with alternatives. Video doorbells are also helpful. Another disadvantage are the delivery people who throw packages, deposit them on the side of the road or in a dumpster, etc. If you are hired to do a job, then do the job or don’t take it in the first place.
When you go shopping in person, you have to deal with crowds, lines, and/or limited stock. When I shop in person for Christmas gifts, I have a list in hand of what I want to get. I usually go in, get what I want, and then leave. However, there have been times when I have passed through a store and found something that was just right for someone on my list. Serendipity is nice and can be rewarding. However, violence in parking lots is another disadvantage to in-person shopping. A woman in my area was tased and robbed in a Walmart or Target parking lot. Then her attackers gleefully went shopping with her credit card.
As for knowing what the kids and grandkids want–that is easy. My 10 year-old grandson is very specific. One year he wanted a Beyblade backpack which came with a Beyblade. He kept checking with me to make sure I knew exactly which one he wanted as there were several choices. This year, I had to watch a video about the gift he wants. I had to watch the WHOLE video. I need to figure out a way to disguise the box his gift came in so he doesn’t guess what it is. The 5 year-old grandson circled what he wanted in an Amazon Toy catalog. He circled about half of the catalog so there were a lot of choices. I laughed when I saw the page of Nerf guns. He circled every one of those Nerf guns. I guess he really wants one of those and doesn’t really care which one. He’s actually getting something that was not in the Amazon catalog. The 12 year-old granddaughter showed me what she wanted and even wrote the website down for me. The daughters are usually pretty easy to shop for, also. The hardest people to shop for are my son-in-law (he always wants something that costs big bucks like a truck), my mother, and my husband.
‘Tis the season to be tired. Shopping is challenging and time consuming no matter how you shop. And then after all that shopping, you’ve got to wrap everything. Around my house, I do the shopping and the wrapping. It’s all worth it on Christmas when the gifts are opened and there are smiles all around.
Happy shopping! Don’t forget to take a break once in a while, and stay safe.