Shopping for Gifts

A big part of the holidays, and Christmastime in particular, is the gift giving. For me, its not so much about receiving gifts as it is about giving them. I love putting lots of thought into  a gift, wrapping it up as pretty as my non-crafty self can manage, and then watching the recipient open his/her gift. I get so excited, in fact, that I often do the majority of my shopping pretty early and I typically wrap everything during the first week of December. Then I forget what I got someone and I’m as surprised as they are. Sometimes I’m even surprised at what a good idea I had for their gift.

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I think we’ve definitely seen a shift in society to more purchases being made online. There are pros and cons to each option. On one hand, shopping in person is putting money back into your local economy, you get your items immediately, and you may even find a better deal. But on the other hand, shopping online is very convenient, you can occasionally get free shipping, and it often has a wider selection. Shopping in-person in a store takes more time, and you cannot always get everything you’re looking for at one place. But shopping online means you have to wait for your items to be delivered, and it can be more difficult to return items.

Over the years I have started doing more and more of my Christmas shopping online. Last year I probably did about 90% of it online. It has become so convenient, especially with free shipping, and especially when you know what you’re looking for. My favorite place to shop online is Amazon, because it is so diverse. There’s a lot available directly through Amazon, and they can also connect you with a lot of other companies. In my experience, if there’s an issue with the product you purchased, Amazon is great at resolving issues between you and the company. (And no, they’re not paying me. I’m just sharing an opinion)

Despite the ease of online shopping, I actually flip flopped this year and did about 75% of my Christmas shopping in stores. There’s just something about wandering the aisles and seeing something that you think would make a great gift for someone. Actual shopping. I should qualify that all of this shopping took place between Halloween and Thanksgiving. I pretty much won’t step foot in a mall or a Walmart-type store between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It just gets too crazy and the traffic can be awful.

So the other 25% of this year’s shopping took place online. I surprised myself by doing the majority of my shopping in-person this year, because you really can’t beat the convenience of purchasing gifts from the comfort of your living room couch. But I think I sometimes come up with better gift ideas when I actually shop in a store.

Which method do you prefer: online or in-person?
Where do you do the majority of your holiday gift shopping?
When do you do most of your shopping: before or after Thanksgiving?

12 Comments

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  1. I’m definitely an online shopper now, I hate the shopping crowds and people just get down right nasty around the holidays. You’d think it should be the opposite!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…A rough Thanksgiving weekend and my latest cake creation!My Profile

    1. That’s what I can’t stand – how crowded it is combined with how everyone’s manners seem to go out the window.

  2. I love shopping in person, but I live in a really small town with seriously limited options. Like a Walmart, JCPenney, and…that’s about it. So I do most of my shopping online! I’d love to support more small businesses, which I do to some extent, but online is so much easier! I start shopping in July, picking up things here or there as I see them. It helps spread the spending out a bit!
    Alison recently posted…Welcome December! And a Thanksgiving weekend recap…My Profile

    1. I hear you! The only thing we have close by is Walmart and Peebles. If I want to shop at a JCPenny or other department-type stores, I have to drive about 40 minutes. I’ll definitely take a smaller store selection over the challenges of living in a more crowded area, though.

  3. Hmmm. Wonder which one is mine? I guess I need to get out and start some shopping.

    I prefer to shop on-line, unless it is clothes. I would rather have the opportunity to try things on.

    Now if I could just find someone to wrap my gifts.

    LUD.

    1. None of those are yours! 🙂

      I wish I lived close, so that I could come over and wrap all of the gifts for you. That’s one of my favorite things to do! Now if only I could find a job where I got paid to wrap gifts year-round.

  4. I fully support shopping locally, but I just can’t make myself doing at Christmastime. Shopping online is way too convenient! I came home to 3 boxes from the UPS man just today!
    jan recently posted…UpdateMy Profile

    1. I agree with you. And I love coming home from work and finding packages from the UPS guy waiting for me on the front porch 🙂

      1. It makes my day! Today we had nothing. What what?? Surely tomorrow there will be a few. 🙂
        jan recently posted…Goodbye Gilmore GirlsMy Profile

      2. I got two today!! 🙂

  5. I usually do more of my shopping in the stores than online, but I do it during the week between sessions with clients. That way I don’t have to fight the crazy weekend crowds!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…BAMR Bands Review And GiveawayMy Profile

    1. That’s good that you’re able to avoid the crazier times. It just gets ridiculous on the weekends from now through Christmas!

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