Monday, December 21, 2009

Confessions of a Last Minute Shopper

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - again.

As I get older the holiday seems to come around faster and faster. Between my day job, family, and writing, I can't seem to find the time to just sit and think. Or plan. Or shop.

For the past month I've picked up odds and ends, but my major gift shopping will be done in the next two days. Yes, I'm one of thooooose people – the most pitiful of creatures - a last minute shopper.

I wasn't always this way. Ten years ago I would have had all my gifts purchased, if not wrapped, by the end of the first week of December. But as it got harder and harder to find gifts that friends and relatives would actually like, I began delaying my shopping. I caught the procrastination bug.

Note: I stand in awe of those people who have that special shopping gene – you know, the people who shop all year long for gifts, storing them in a closet for the big day when they'll be given to their intended recipient. Actually I'm in awe that they have an empty closet to keep those gifts in for twelve months.

Okay, back to me –

Adding a complication to my suffering is the fact that I've never liked crowds. I don't enjoy people invading my personal space, pushing and shoving to get merchandise, no matter their holly jolly holiday mood. My worst nightmare is being at a Wal-Mart on a day when a snow storm is predicted to come rolling in. Everyone stampedes to the store to stock up on groceries, toilet paper, ice scrapers, rock salt, dvds, and batteries. The only shopping carts left are the ones with wonky wheels – not that you can get a shopping cart down the packed aisles. And the checkout lines? Expect at least 30 minutes in the check-out line. (I've learned to carry my beloved Blackberry and check e-mail during the wait – it keeps me calm.) Can you imagine the crowds with a "white" Christmas? The same stampede with the added pressure of choosing gifts?

Enough of my whining, back to happy shopping themes –

My favorite seven places to shop are:
  1. Amazon – No lines, great selection, and they always have Evelyn David books.

  2. Barnes & Noble (the brick and mortar stores) – Great coffee and Evelyn David books.

  3. Lowes – Gifts for guys (and ladies who know how to use a hammer)

  4. Bath & Body shops – Love the body splashes. The only downside is they're located in malls and finding a parking spot at a major mall is almost impossible this time of year.

  5. Overstock.com – Unique items and reasonable shipping costs. Love their dishes.

  6. iQVC.com – A little bit of everything. Cute jewelry.

  7. Wal-Mart – You really can't beat their prices if you're on a budget (and these days who isn't?) But make sure you go on sunny days, midweek and midmonth.

Two questions for you:

  1. Where do you like to shop? Tell us your favorites.

  2. If a sales clerk fails to remove the defective (defective in that it didn't sound an alarm when you left the store) security device from some article of clothing you've purchased for someone – do you really have to go back to the store and have it removed? Can you just gift wrap that coat (including the sales receipt) and let the recipient deal with taking it back to the mall? I mean really, isn't it the thought that counts???

Happy Holidays!

Rhonda
Aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David
http://www.evelyndavid.com/

6 comments:

  1. I hardly purchased any presents, gave money instead. Did buy two son-in-
    laws gift certificates to their favorite restaurants, and one movie tickets. Everyone else is getting money. Not too imaginative, but when you have 4 kids, 18 grandkids and 11 great-grands, it is much easier.

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  2. I love Amazon for the same reasons you mentioned, no lines and they have everything.

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  3. I ordered some special Bath and Body Works stuff for my Dear Wife this year, from their online store. It's an hour's drive to the closest one, and it's in a mall.

    I also ordered some special sweet treats that I can't find anywhere near here, from an online supplier. I don't mind shopping at "real stores" when they're available and not full of people with the crazed shopping glare in their eyes, but in this case, it was so much easier to shop online.

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  4. I shop locally. We have a new nursery/farm stand/gift shop in town and I did the bulk of my shopping there this year. My parents get gift cards because that's what they like. And Santa still comes to our house, fortunately, so that means we don't have to shop for everyone. :-) Great post, Rhonda. I hear you, sister. Maggie

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  5. Almost all my Christmas presents came via Amazon this year. Some of them I've had since March; others just arrived yesterday. I love online shopping. I did pick up some items in the mall for my husband (his fave flannel shirts) and a few things +from the local Hastings store. I also go to the big craft shows our town has in Oct. and Nov. so picked up some cool earrings for my daughters.
    Happy Holidays everyone!

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  6. I drove 3.5 hours to where my mother lives took her, my aunt and my step fathr to lunch. My mother fell Sunday morning and cracked her elbow. We didn't knwo what was going on when we arrived at her house at first. So we decided to go on and eat but left them a note on the door where we were. Now my mother has a cell phone but she never takes it with her except when she goes to the doctor in Dallas. My aunt said she takes it but doesn't turn it on sigh. Anyway my husband and I took them to lunch. On the way home we grabbed a guy gift and girl gift for his family's Chinese Christmas. I'll be working so I will miss all the fun and food. We've always been last minute shoppers.

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