It seems rather strange to go into a store and see end of summer sale items, Halloween costumes, Remembrance Day poppies and Christmas decorations all at the same time. Somehow we have begun blurring the holidays into one big merchandising extravaganza.
A lot of things have changed over the years. It is no longer just an orange and some peanuts in a homemade stocking and one gift. Now the theme seems to be "bigger and better". We are bombarded with temptations for buying that is combined with an underlying message that it is our job to make others happy and giving them what they want will accomplish the goal.
I am one of the growing numbers who has broken with tradition. I do online shopping. There are many good reasons for this:
1. TIME - I am not a shopping and become frustrated walking through super-sized stores where there are few clerks. If I shop online, I can do it quickly, in the comfort of my home or office without having to drive, park or search for specific items. I can compare prices and read about features and benefits in a matter of minutes.
2. SHIPPING - Sometimes the costs of sending something almost matches the value of the item being sent. I don't like standing in lines holding heavy items and then having to consider the myriad of choices that I have. Do I want two-day delivery, a signature, or insurance - all of which cost more? No, I like the idea of having the retailer take care of everything for me. That way I can either fly or drive to the Christmas celebration and not have to worry about how much there is to take with me.
3. WRAPPING - When you shop online, you can send it unwrapped or actually pay a little extra having them wrap it for you. Perfect!
4. EXCHANGING - If a gift is not working, unsuitable or a duplicate, the receiver can quickly and easily deal directly with this.
News reports are claiming that this Christmas will be a sales record and that more sales than ever will be done though the internet. I know that people can be hesitant to put their credit card information into the computer because there has been a lot of concern about hacking lately. But, if you choose reputable sites you should be safe. Better yet, do your shopping online and then call the company and make your purchase over the telephone. That way your credit card number will not be vulnerable.
I know it is only November but Black Friday is coming! (Another shopping experience that we didn't have a few years ago). Or you can start your shopping right now if you wish! Online shopping is 24 hours a day and seven days a week.