During the season just past, I did the bulk of my Christmas shopping online. Friends and family have been touting this for years so when my email inbox was flooded with ads on Cyber Monday, I decided to give it a try.
Other than the occasional book I buy from Amazon.com and Tom’s Shoes when I had a teenager at home, I had not shopped in this manner. I had certainly never needed to browse and choose gifts from pictures and written descriptions. (Come to think of it, sounds like the old Sears Roebuck catalog.)
When my family gets together each year (usually about the 4th day of Christmas) we all exchange gifts with each other. It is an event. Everyone is able to take part because we stay in the low dollar range. Of course, we have found that to do this, one has to be more creative about shopping than if one were buying tablets or laptops. It’s easy to spend lots of money on gifts, but to search Hastings’ sale table and find just the right book for someone is truly an accomplishment.
I bought from three different websites, paid no shipping, and everything arrived promptly and intact. A trip to Marshall’s in Cabot and I was done. The brand new Dollar Tree in Beebe furnished the stocking stuffers.
In the past my mode of shopping was: Visit the mall and look at everything in every single store; decide on the appropriate gifts; try to remember where they were; and go back and purchase them (if still available). This approach was quite time consuming, but I relished it. I really enjoy buying gifts for people I love. I didn’t think it would be as satisfying on a computer.
But it almost was. When the packages arrived from the various dot-coms, it was exciting. I got to open, examine, wrap and tag everything. And what I bought was well represented in the pictures online. (One does have to read the specs to know the size.)
The only down side to the whole gift buying scenario had nothing to do with the internet. It seems Marshall’s attaches price tags that absolutely do not come off easily (or at all). I had to peel and scrape (gently so as to not damage the gift). I do hate to give someone a book or frame that smells like Goo Gone! Perhaps I will suggest to Marshall’s that since they have such a nice array of merchandise for gift-giving, they might think of using price tags that don’t have to be sand-blasted off.
BTW, we take turns opening our gifts one at a time so each can see who gave what to whom. That way, the fun lasts longer.