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.
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?