Many years ago women were traditionally stay-at-home moms and took care of the holiday preparation while the children were at school. Stores in those days generally closed early so the shopping would get done during daylight hours. This would also allow them time in the evenings or on the weekends to take care of the baking and other preparations. Christmas time typically consisted of mom and pop taking the kids to see Santa on the weekend; very simple, very organized.
Today things move at a much faster pace. Some families regardless of whether or not they consist of a one or two parent home lead a totally different lifestyle today. Many individuals still shop in the malls each year, but there are a growing number that prefer the convenience of online shopping and these numbers are increasing each year. Although this is nothing new, it seems to be the wave of the future. Online gift shopping is not only for the elderly. Young parents with busy schedules are finding it easier to sit at their computers and type in their orders as opposed to fighting the crowds at the stores.
However, some still do enjoy the atmosphere of the brightly decorated malls, coffee shops, and restaurants where they can sit for a while and eat, drink, and be merry. And we can’t forget the thrill of seeing our little ones waiting in line to see Santa.
Progressive businesses today have stayed competitive by creating websites that accommodate the perspective customers that can’t make it out to the malls. But however a family chooses to shop; the economic crisis in this country hasn’t seemed to prevent the billions already spent this year on Christmas. Shoppers say they will shell out an average of $800 this year on gifts.
Many families start their Christmas shopping in November and some as early as August. Let’s not forget that small percentage of folks that tend to procrastinate and scramble to shop that last week before the holiday. For those that fit into this category, gift cards are a good way to fulfill your Christmas list and spend minimal time doing it.
Many businesses offer both in-store gift cards and those you can purchase online, making the entire shopping experience quick and easy. There will be more time in your daily schedule for baking, wrapping gifts, and trimming the tree.
My mind goes back to the days when I wasn’t allowed in the basement around Christmas. We never actually asked our parents why because we still believed that Santa would be bringing our gifts down the chimney on Christmas Eve. We didn’t have a chimney but again never questioned any of this.
Things haven’t really changed all that much. Whether you shop online, bake cookies at home or hang the children’s stockings over the fireplace with the price tags still on them, the excitement of Christmas is in all of us, children and adults alike. Some things will never change and we can all be thankful for that.