Monday, December 9, 2013

Cyber shopping...Hell Yeah!

I am old enough to remember Christmas time without the internet. To some people going and braving the crowds in the shopping malls are the way to celebrate the holiday season. Not so here in this house. I used to avoid stores at this time of year like they were infected with the bubonic plague. Yes being Jewish that did make it easier to avoid the crush of holiday humanity especially as we never did the 8 nights of Hanukkah presents in this house. Not with all the relatives giving gifts. Every year it was as if the children became a toy store unto themselves. Enough became enough

Not certain why this yearly tradition of being squeezed into a brick and motar store like sardines is so much fun for some, but they still do it as part and parcel of tradition. Personally I like the new tradition....

Sitting with a glass of wine, in your PJs, at any time of day or night as you Google what you want to buy and check out who has the cheaper price, faster service and better delivery options... now that's my idea of holiday spirit. And yes, any shopping with a little bit of sparkling wine adds to the cheeriness of the moment. No alcohol is evil references here please. Apart from the fact that someone is an alcoholic or pregnant and not allowed to drink, the daily glass of vino has umpteen number of benefits and is a grown-up way to relax. So hands off the bubbly.

Actually, I remember decades ago, this little start up company called Amazon, that along with its bookstore partner (can't remember now if it was Barnes and Noble or Borders) would deliver any book you wanted right to your door. One of the things I did like to do was spend hours and hours in any bookstore looking for something interesting to read. Honestly, it was one of the few things I had in common with my father-in-law. Meanwhile, I can still recall this excited phone conversation from years back when the FIL found Amazon on line. He was so thrilled and excited. He had just ordered a new novel and they delivered it right to his office. He sounded like a kid in a candy store with an unlimited budget.

Also since my boys were little at the time, my
friend called me about this interesting new website etoys, that would deliver the toys, already wrapped too, right to your door for the holiday season. (Etoys has since been co-opted by Amazon). I spent that Christmas season sending all the nieces and nephews presents using etoys. It was the easiest and best holiday season I had ever spent. Think about it. You don't have to set up time to go to the toy store, and with two young children that was a chore in and of itself. Try getting a babysitter during the week if you didn't want to wait for the hubby to watch the kids when he was off work and then you got to go to the Toys R Us on the weekends, with everyone else in the world. FUN NOT  Then you needed to hope that the toy you know your special child may want was still available and that you didn't have to deal with some belligerent parent who also wanted that one particular toy. Next you would have to stand in line to have the gifts wrapped or go home and spend hours wrapping them yourself (and they never looked as good as when the wrappers did it in the store). Finally you would have to brave the post office to have them send the package to the right recipient. Meanwhile, the post office would invariably lose at least one or two of the presents every year as well. Oh yeah, UPS and fedex were in their fledgling states and only businesses would use them to send packages overnight.

What a new and exciting world was beginning. You young'uns are so spoiled today and you don't even know it.

Of course, cyber shopping also makes it easier to spend money, go into debt and generally spend money you don't have on crap that you don't need and will never ever really use. But hey isn't that the American way, materialism, merchandizing and fulfilling self-esteem needs through physical, tactile and Madison Avenue induced want. It's what keeps our economy, or what's left of our economy,  afloat, well sort of....


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