Monday, December 15, 2014

Will Wonders Never Cease...

I finished my holiday shopping* yesterday. December 14th. There have been years when I didn't even start my Christmas shopping until December 14th. Heck, there were a couple years where I didn't start until the date started with a "2". This is a milestone for me, and I'm not sure if it's a good sign or not...

It's funny how your perception of things changes as you get older. When you're a kid (read: pre-teen), Christmas the grand-high exalted holiday, full of presents and chocolate. The countdown begins sometime after Halloween, and after Thanksgiving it gets into full swing. For a good solid month it's nothing but nail-biting anticipation.

Then you hit the teen years, and start having to buy presents for people. All of a sudden, this wonderful holiday starts to become work. Oh, sure, it' still pretty awesome, because you get presents and candy and all that, but there's now a price tag attached: you need to start thinking about others. Funny, that. This continues throughout your teenage years and into your 20s. Until...

You have kids of your own. Then the full magic of Christmas hits you all over again. When you see the pure, unmitigated joy in your child's eyes at a house lit up with Christmas lights or seeing Santa on a firetruck, you're five years old again yourself. You go from believing in Santa to not believing to becoming Santa. And that is both awesome and terrifying.

The saddest Christmas of my life was the first one where both kids had stopped believing.

But yeah. Somewhere along the line I became a grownup. Rather than getting together with a couple good friends the weekend before Christmas and making a grueling day of shopping, most of my shopping is done online. More and more retailers are realizing this and offering incentives like free shipping to entice the digital crowd. Between not having to fight the crowds at the malls and not having to drive all over creation in traffic (I do that enough Monday through Friday!), I'll even pony up for shipping when I have to...

Done with Christmas shopping on December 14th. If the 20-something me had ever been told that, he'd have laughed hysterically. Online shopping was in its infancy back then (boy, I wish I'd thought to grab a piece of Google or Amazon when they first started, eh?), and brick-and-mortar still ruled the Christmas roost. I'm not sure what the breakdown is overall, but I know that of my shopping, only gift cards were purchased in a store.

And now I've got over a week and a half to relax and watch all the other panicking... 

That is all.

*No, I'm not being politically correct. One of the presents I purchased is a Chanukah present...

4 comments:

libertyman said...

Shopping is okay if you avoid the weekends. You must have a greater variety of options in the area of your new home than when you were living in Mass. (Can't go to New Hampshire quickly to avoid the dreaded sales tax now, can you?)

The most fun is when you get someone something special they had mentioned in passing or felt that no one would ever get for them. That's what keeps Christmas interesting for me.

Anonymous said...

Amazon is a life-saver and life-changer. I really depend on it.

--mrs doubletrouble

Stingray said...

Labrat declared my original comment too harsh even by standards here, so it has been replaced with "Sod the whole damn thing."

Jay G said...

It's okay, Stingray. Karma bit me square on the ass for posting this.

Needless to say, I have to fight the rampaging hordes tomorrow...