Tag Archives: Online shopping

Classic Post: Easy Christmas Shopping? Ho, Ho, Ho!

This post first appeared on December 16, 2020.

Image by Gerhard from Pixabay.
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay.

Veteran Christmas shoppers have seen it all. We’ve fought kamikaze traffic and circled malls 250 times, seeking parking places in the same zip code. We’ve donned body armor to survive elbowing crowds and hostile, Klingon clerks.

Once, I watched two scary grandmas in line ahead, battling over who was first. Would they take out all of us?

Enter online shopping.

I don my loudest holiday sweater and drink hot chocolate in my favorite Christmas mug. I assemble credit cards and password lists.

Modeling one of my favorite Christmas sweaters.

Ready. Set. Shop!

However, my laptop’s not in the Christmas spirit — crankier than a teen awakened on Saturday. When I threaten it with a pitcher of cold water, the laptop finally cooperates. Sort of.

It sends me to the Malwart website, rather than Walmart. When I Google “Target,” it makes me one, sending my address and accompanying maps to various Middle Eastern websites. Then a pop-up offers the Garfield beach towel my grandson covets for only $471. When I switch to purchasing a storybook instead, the website informs me others who bought this book also purchased “The Preschool Guide to Overthrowing the Government.”

The perfect shirt.

Weary of children’s gifts, I peruse flannel shirts for my tall, thin son. Surely, with 83,259,441,701 advertised, I’ll find one. But 83,259,441,700 are size XXXXXLarge.

Wait. I see it!

One size large, tall, in un-girly blue plaid. In stock! But the perfect shirt can be sent only to Madagascar by Christmas. If sent to Indianapolis, it’ll arrive on February 29, 2024. If I pay extra.

I return to pricing Garfield beach towels. Three cost more than $500 apiece, so I grab the bargain at $471. Using the promotion code BANKRUPT, I owe only $470.12. Surely, I get free shipping. No?! I must spend $203.77 more. So, I buy a bag of flour.

Image by Myriam from Pixabay.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

Pre-Internet nostalgia overwhelms me. I miss Christmas fairylands. Humanoids who said, “May I help you?” and did. I miss harmonizing to “What Child Is This?” in stores, celebrating the true Reason for the season.

So, I’ll again circle for parking spots — in any zip code. Though … the scary grandmas probably are still battling.

We other shoppers will watch — from a distance.

Maybe we should bring along pitchers of cold water?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you prefer online or in-person shopping? Why?

Easy Christmas Shopping? Ho, Ho, Ho!

We veteran Christmas shoppers have seen it all.

We’ve fought kamikaze traffic and circled malls 250 times, searching for parking in the same zip code. We’ve donned body armor to survive elbowing crowds. Defied Klingon clerks who wanted to beam us to Kronos.

During one holiday shopping trip, two scary grandmas in my line battled about who was ahead. Would they take out everyone else, too?

Enter online shopping, the answer to desperate prayers. Especially in 2020.

Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay.

No traffic. No higher-than-Santa’s-sleigh gasoline costs. No sore feet — unless we type with toes.

I generate Christmas atmosphere for online shopping by concocting a Christmas playlist, donning my loudest holiday sweater and drinking hot chocolate from my favorite Christmas mug. Christmas candles smell like pine … or Pine-Sol®?

Regardless, I pull out credit cards. My password list. Ready. Set. Shop!

My laptop’s crankier than a teen at 8 a.m. on Saturday. When I threaten it with a pitcher of cold water, the laptop finally cooperates. Sort of.

It sends me to the Malwart website, rather than Walmart. (Nothing to do with my spelling, you understand.) A pop-up offers the Garfield beach towel my grandson covets for only $471. When I purchase a puppy-kitty storybook instead, the website informs me other customers who bought this book also purchased “The Preschool Guide to Overthrowing the Government.”

Weary of children’s gifts, I peruse flannel shirts for my son. Surely, with 83,259,441,701 advertised online, I can find one. But 83,259,441,700 are size XXXXX Large.

My son could fit in a sleeve.

Wait. I see it!

The solitary size large, un-girly plaid shirt is in stock! But it can be sent only to Madagascar by Christmas. If sent to Indianapolis, it will arrive on February 29, 2024. If I pay extra.

My laptop emits a distinct chuckle.

Grrr. But if I use the pitcher of water, I’ll have to beg use of Hubby’s laptop. He’s busy ordering camping equipment — my Christmas gifts to him?

I may wait until Valentine’s Day.

Desperate, I return to pricing Garfield beach towels. Three others cost $500 apiece, so I grab the bargain at $471. Using the promotion code BANKRUPT, I owe only $470.12. Surely, this gift qualifies for free shipping. But no, I must spend only $203.77 more. So, I buy a bag of flour.

Image by Daniela Mackova from Pixabay.

I miss pre-Internet shop owners, humanoids who said, “May I help you?” and did.

So, I join other masked shoppers in real stores. Remembering those two scary grandmas, I imagine they’re not Internet shopping. They’re still pushing and shoving to be first.

Other shoppers and I will watch — from a distance.

Maybe we should bring along pitchers of ice water?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you prefer online or traditional shopping?

Online Santas

The day after Thanksgiving, a friend’s Facebook post evoked 93 envious comments, four offers of psychological help, and a death threat or two. What elicited such passionate response? She dared reveal that she’d wrapped the final gift on her list.

I gave serious consideration to the last reaction, but one of her gifts may be for me.

Like many today, she’d viewed an amazing variety of gifts online.

If a guy craves a purple monkey wrench with a peace sign, he can open it Christmas morning. Those seeking bedroom slippers find pairs online that could fit a native of Neptune, let alone, hard-to-please Uncle Ralph.

Five-inch-thick toy catalogs once dragged home from the mailbox no longer limit little ones’ choices. Now, children who navigate cyberspace better than their parents explore infinite Christmas Wish websites. Some “accidentally” hit purchase buttons without their folks’ knowledge — until five semis dump 42,111 teddy bears singing “Feliz Navidad” in Chinese on their doorsteps.

Internet shopping also promotes less driving. No coats, mittens or car seats. No bloodshed over parking spaces. Pollution-belching cars remain home, while bargain hunters apply gas money to bigger and better holiday gifts for others — plus giant screen TVs for themselves.

Virtual store visitors choose gifts anytime day or night. They avoid hostile store clerks who install trapdoors in front of cash registers.

Certainly, online buyers encounter uncooperative sellers — shopping carts that charge double and helpful sites that publish customers’ credit card numbers on Facebook. But if an annoyed Internet shopper assaults her computer, it can be replaced with no jail time involved — unless she shoplifts one.

Online purchasers avoid traditional Christmas brawls when stores run out of Preschool Techno Marbles or Uber Dogcatcher Barbie. Nor do they wait in line behind 76 other customers, only to discover the computers are down. An online shopper can experience similar computer fun at home with no wait whatsoever.

Internet customers do risk the unknown. A pan-for-gold set might not come with genuine six-inch nuggets, as advertised. Once, unaware a website’s owners couldn’t count, I received a sweater that sported five arms.

Online shoppers also deal with predators who steal identities. However, I wouldn’t mind procuring a new one. I’ll take a twentyish blonde, size six, with an unlimited credit ceiling, please.

Believe it or not, I later discovered my high-tech friend didn’t stick to Internet gift-giving. She’d not only bought presents at downtown stores and personally wrapped them — she’d made several.

Such inefficiency, when in one evening, she could have selected identical presents for 127 people, had them professionally gift-wrapped, then sent in time for Christmas. This, without ever touching gifts or recipients.

What was she thinking?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you like shopping online? Why or why not?