TIS THE SEASON FOR ONLINE SHOPPING—Fa la la la la, la la la la. I don’t know about you all, but I don’t participate in Black Friday. However, one of my favorite days of the year is, you guessed it, Cyber Monday.
In years past, you could say that I did 50 percent of my Christmas shopping online, and the other 50 percent I would find on miscellaneous retail websites. That isn’t the case this year.
This year I did 98 percent of my shopping exclusively online. My husband and I bought for 14 total people, some being a “couple gift,” and two things TOTAL, out of all of those, were purchased in-store, only after I had done online research and discovered that, indeed, the in-store price was comparable, and convenient.
Did you catch the last word of that last sentence? CONVENIENT. That is why I do what I do — especially now that I have a five-month-old who is super susceptible to all the germs. Online shopping is the most convenient way for me to buy things for the people I love.
Let me tell you more reasons why I am the way I am:
- Rather than loading up my son’s diaper bag with extra diapers, extra outfits, all the food he might need, and extra layers (because it’s winter), instead, he can do whatever he pleases from the comfort of our home. No need to disturb naptime and be that poor soul in the store who has a screaming baby (I feel for those moms), when I can simply open up my laptop and have the world at my fingertips.
- I mentioned all it takes to get a baby out of the house in the dead of winter. What I didn’t mention is the meandering that I do once inside the store, all while said baby, whom I’ve packed most of his earthly belongings, has a very real internal timer of the amount of time he will be happy while in his car seat inside the cart. My child is extremely happy and doesn’t really have a problem with his car seat. However, even he has his limits, and heaven forbid I be in the store and not have what I wanted to buy picked out when said limit is reached. Let’s just say I have spent time in a store with my nearly 15-pound son in one arm while pushing the shopping cart with the other hand, and I was actively sweating by the time I finished.
- No lines. In fact, that may be my favorite thing about online shopping. There is virtually no waiting! If something is in stock online, it will say in-stock. I don’t have to search several aisles to try to find said item. And what do they tell you when you are in a store and you need to purchase an item that isn’t in-stock in the store? “You can purchase this online, and we’ll ship it to you.” HELLO. Proof that you should have stayed home in your pajamas and done your shopping that way.
- Another thing I enjoy about online shopping is the lack of human interaction. Call me antisocial, BUT, do you have a story about a crazy interaction with another customer, an employee at the store, or any other human? I can’t begin to recall the maddness I’ve experienced while Christmas shopping in stores. People are usually at their worst in stores this time of year. Save yourself the stress and potential repenting to God later, and just shop online without having to confront other people.
- You don’t have to drive all over kingdom come. If you’re anything like me, rarely ever do you find what you need for everyone on your list in one place. Shopping online saves gas money and keeps your blood pressure low because you don’t have to deal with holiday traffic jams.
I could go on for days about why I prefer online shopping rather than in store. The pros and cons list is almost 200 to 1. There are exceptions however, like: Archaic websites that don’t offer free shipping (Thank you Amazon Prime); mom and pop or local stores that offer a pleasing experience, which is half of the reason you shop local anyway; some unique items to your city or town may not be online; and then the best reason to ever shop in a store is sometimes you can go to a store and the store tells you what you need, i.e. any shopping trip to Target or Hobby Lobby. But those are special occasions, and generally best enjoyed sans husband or baby.
I’m not going to try to put a biblical spin on this subject, because the truth of the matter is that it’s 100 percent consumerist based. I will, however, encourage you while you are buying Christmas gifts (hopefully from the comfort of your couch), to think about those who don’t have the luxury to buy their loved ones gifts this Christmas.
Think about someone who you could buy a gift for that may not have anyone to share the holiday with, or a child whose parents can’t afford gifts this year, or just think about spending time with someone who might enjoy your presence rather an a present. If you must buy gifts for anyone this Christmas, consider these people first.