The holiday season is upon us and, while no one wants to be a Scrooge, not everyone enjoys the whole process of giving and receiving gifts in the name of good cheer. Take me for example. While I certainly don’t mind receiving a gift, the idea of going out to buy gifts for friends and family gives me an overwhelming feeling of dread. And, it’s not that I don’t love my friends and family, it’s just that the rest of society seems to go a little overboard at this time of year.
So,to summarize; gift-receiving “good,” gift-giving “not so great.”
The rushing around, often with tired children in tow, from store to store, mall to mall, bathroom to bathroom, to buy soaps and chocolates and toys and socks is, well, work. And this work is made all the more arduous because you have to do it in one of the coldest months of the year, surrounded by sick, sniffly, angry people who will chew your arm off just to get the last popular toy doll of the year, or action figure. And you can’t just give people money, or at least you can’t give them money without a card, because there are apparently rules for that (like my Twoonie isn’t good enough for your kid).
So, maybe dislike is not the right word. No, I hate buying gifts for the holidays. And it’s not the money. I can work within a budget. It’s the time, and the cold, and feeling like I’m a sardine as I walk through crowded aisles in popular stores that always seem to be quickly running out of stock of things no one actually needs.
So, I’m liking this whole online shopping concept. Smart phone, credit card (that I can easily pay off at the end of the month), Internet, Google Key Words, and I can pretty much get whatever I need with no driving, no parking, no stores, and no malls.
I still have tired, screaming kids, but nothing is perfect, even if it does come with coupons for my next purchase, or free wrapping. Imagine the freedom!
Aunt Jeanie gets her chocolates. Mom gets her slippers. The kids get the hottest toys, and my wife gets to help me pay for it. Everyone gets the gift that they deserve and I get the peace of mind in knowing that I didn’t pick up the wrong strain of influenza, or didn’t have to pick a fight over who was in line first.
My time is valuable, if only to me. Crowds aren’t my thing. And shopping is the last thing I want to do at the busiest time of year at home, at my kid’s school and at the office; especially if everyone else and their brother plans on doing the same thing.
Sure, I might crash a website with my purchase of clogs for Auntie Edith, or my purchase of chocolate-covered cherries for pretty much anyone I only kind of like, but not enough to buy good chocolate for. But, it will be in the comfort of my own home, in the warmth of my angry children’s glares and in the only place where I don’t have to cover a toilet seat with cheap one ply toilet paper to avoid “cooties.”
It’s win-win for me, my friends and family, society at large, and retailers that no longer believe that they can sustain a business model of bricks and mortar stores when warehouse space in the middle of nowhere is so much cheaper. My money still goes in to the economy. Santa still delivers gifts. People still gain weight from over-stuffing themselves on sweets, and I don’t look like the Grinch who can’t be bothered to buy something for every extended family member who sends him a family shot of their clan in ugly Christmas sweaters.
Of course, I could just ask one of those people who likes to shop in malls to get some stuff for me, but I don’t know any people like that.