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:
- Amazon – No lines, great selection, and they always have Evelyn David books.
- Barnes & Noble (the brick and mortar stores) – Great coffee and Evelyn David books.
- Lowes – Gifts for guys (and ladies who know how to use a hammer)
- 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.
- Overstock.com – Unique items and reasonable shipping costs. Love their dishes.
- iQVC.com – A little bit of everything. Cute jewelry.
- 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:
- Where do you like to shop? Tell us your favorites.
- 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???
Aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David