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How I figured out my Christmas Shopping

Do you remember the time before the internet?  I seem to.  I seem to recall hours at the mall or driving lots of places.  Oh, I still buy stuff at stores, don't get me wrong, but the other day, I was thinking about getting a particular gift certificate for my nieces and remembered that I saw it at various stores around town.  So, I was truly thinking about getting into my car and driving a half hour, braving the city and then looking for said gift certificates.

And then, it hit me.  Why don't I buy it online?

Not only did they have the certificates, but I could print them and send them off via snail mail which was 5 minutes away, as opposed to 30 minutes.   It's the thought that counts, I'm sure.

So, my nieces will get something that they want.  I get to avoid shopping.  Win-win.

My major quest is what to buy my MIL.  We're thinking about some sort of experience package, like a cross-country ski trip or something like that.  Do you have any ideas how to find something that specializes in that?

Here's the latest poll for you guys:

Poll #1104161 Holiday shopping

When you shop for the holidays, you

Buy everything online!
Buy most things online with a few small presents from shopping.
Buy half online/ half at stores.
Buy most gifts in stores, but occasionally online.
Buy everything in stores or the mall.
I don't buy gifts, bah humbug!

What do you typically buy as gifts?

Traditional presents they unwrap.
Gift certificates.
Some sort of experience, like travel or day of beauty.
Nothing -- I don't give presents.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:19 pm (UTC)
I couldn't answer the first part, because you left out the option I tried to use the most this year: buy from independant crafters & artists. I bought a lot of my gifts throughout the year on the convention circuit and felt really good about that, since I was supporting independant merchants and artists instead of paying & playing in to the mall mentality.

Beyond that, there are a couple people I have to get gift cards for (thanks for reminding me to post my office gift policy rant shortly) and I'm making gifts of my own for most of the rest.
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
This year, I ended up getting a lot of Montana type products for my sisters, but my nieces are still in their teens, albeit, the older one is about 19, so things like that are kind of wasted at this time. At that age, they're more appreciative of gift cards than presents.
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
I have to ship anything I buy, so if I can't get it all done to deliver during the Thanksgiving trip, it's gotta be small and light. Usually, I end up getting gift cards for the bookstore for the kids, gift cards to Walmart or Target for my Mom and sisters. This year, I've got to ship some books and stuffed toys for the new nephews, but I haven't found anything for Mom yet.
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
You know, I've done nothing but gift cards in the past and that made life a lot easier. Not as personal, but quite honestly, do they really think I'm going to find the perfect gift?

I've been pretty ambivalent about Christmas, largely because it's just more stuff that perhaps I don't need. The times when I got what I asked for, my family was annoyed because it supported my mushing.
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
If I know something specific I'm going to get for someone, and know a good place to get it cheaply online, then I'll do that. But I tend to give gifts more from a sense of "this item feels like a good gift for [insert gift receiver]." It's hard to get the "feel" of things online, plus it's harder to immerse yourself in a... let's say "target-rich environment" to hijack a military phrase (hmm, militant gift-giving?), and to see what jumps out at you. The biggest gift I'm giving my eldest daughter this year is something I didn't even know existed, and would never have thought to look for except that I happened to see it among the shelves.
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
My problem is largely that I so despise shopping (mom managed to squash every shopping inclination I had by taking me to the malls when I was young and shopping for herself in rows of absolutely stinky department stores filled with perfume and awful smelling stuff), that going to a mall is really hard for me. (And yes, oddly enough there is a mall about 45 minutes from me-- albeit, a small mall). So, I wouldn't really see anything other than crowds and people.

Downtown is a bit easier on me, mainly because the stores are small and specialized. During the summer, we've had various crafts at the farmer's market, but I didn't find much that I considered buying just yet. So, it's internet shopping for me.
Dec. 12th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
I remember those days well, sigh. And that's why today I buy 95% of the stuff I need (except food) on the net.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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