Monday, November 30, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Yeeeeear!!!

Yesiree, it's time for Christmas shopping! The chaos and bedlam of Black Friday is behind us and now it is time to get down the buying in earnest. Never mind that Aaron has more than enough toys, Dad insists (again) that he really doesn't need anything, and Mom is vague as usual. I have gotten to that stage where my brain has moved beyond the blank I-have-no-idea-what-I-want stage and into the I-can't-stop-coming-up-with-ideas stage.

It can sometimes be a very difficult thing, coming up with just the right gifts for every loved one. You have to be original, personal, interesting, and unique - usually within a microscopic budget. Then, after you've picked out the perfect gift for Aunt Julian, you actually have to go out and buy it. This used to be a tedious, time-consuming, stressful affair. You drove into town, went from shop to shop to shop, finding everything you wanted in all the wrong sizes and colors, and finally decided to buy that ugly knickknack from the first store you visited.

But, thank the Lord, for once technology has actually made something simpler! If you aren't shopping online yet, methinks you're missing out on something very special. No lines, no travel, no obnoxious Christmas Jazz music, no sullen cashiers, no's all there in the comfort of your home! You point, click, enter in the debit card number and *hey presto*, you have the gift delivered to your door or post office box! Could it get any simpler than that? You can find great deals by comparing prices with ease, get deep discounts from places like E-Bay and random gift shops in Seattle, it's all at your fingertips!

And did you know that the internet now helps you not only with the buying process, but with the selection of the gift as well?, for example. There's a "Personality Profiler" quiz ( which you can use to find pages of gift ideas for your kind of person! For example, If I'm looking for a gift for Aaron I will choose "Teen Boy". From there I'll be asked if he's more into sports or tech; definitely tech. Reading or Skateboarding? Skateboarding, for lack of a better alternative. Eventually I find out that my brother is an "X-Treme Dude" who might want a solar charger for his i-Pod, a fun wallet, or removable stickers for a laptop makeover. It's really quite something, and if you have an indecisive friend or family member on your hands, could be a lifesaver! There are several sites with present suggestions besides, like Find GiftFirststreet, and Gift Idea Center, just to name a few. Compare prices of gifts on Price Grabber, NexTag, or Bizrate.

Of course, there is something very special about the hustle and bustle of the mall, or the warmth and lights of a department store where Christmas is in full swing. That's something that the internet just can't recreate. So, despite the huge amount of shopping we do online, Mom and I always try to finagle a free day when we can go physically shopping, when we actually drive around and talk to people. We can pick up a few things locally and get the atmosphere of the experience, while getting great bargains on the majority of our purchases online. Don't be afraid of internet shopping, there's a world of opportunity out there! So go forth, my fearless comrades. As one site put it: Search. Compare. Conquer.

Abby Rogers 

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