Holidaze Shopping Craze

Holiday Shopping Black FridayI’m already behind.

My uber-organized holiday binder full of schedules and lists, which is meant to break down all holiday details day by day to be ready for Christmas, hasn’t even left the shelf. It’s sitting in a dark cabinet next to The Elf on the Shelf who probably won’t make it out into the open this holiday season either.

I guess I’m on to Plan B, which is “Wing it.”

It’s hard to wing it anymore though, especially with shopping. Everything sells so early and quickly, if you don’t get a jump on it you end up with size 13 shoes and XXL shirts and tell your family you’ll exchange them in February when their real sizes come back in stock. This hyper holiday shopping trend is difficult for me because I’m not an early bird shopper. I like to shop during the actual month of December, in stores even. I like to look around, peruse, and compare. I know that’s getting old fashioned with the cyber shopping craze and the ultimate enticement of free shipping, but I got cyber shop burned once.

I ordered the perfect graphic tee to go with the cute PJ bottoms I got for my daughter, complete with cheeky saying “Lost in Thought. Please send search party!” which was soooo her. Instead, I received a shirt with a monster truck graphic and quote, “Dig it!”

Not diggin’ it.

Not what I wanted or ordered.

It arrived just days before Christmas which was too late to bother some frazzled holiday customer service rep on the phone about a replacement, so I had to settle for the picked-over store selection and ended up with a lame SpongeBob shirt.

Since then, I’ve been leery about trusting Cyber Santa. I like choosing gifts in person, purchasing them under security surveillance, then toting them home under my own power to ensure peace of mind. That was my intent when I purchased an iTunes gift card while grocery shopping the other day. I was feeling a bit panicked that I hadn’t taken advantage of any Black Friday, Sleep-deprived Saturday or Cyber Monday deals, but to prove that it is possible get a deal on a usable gift item in person in December, I whipped out a $5 off a $30 iTunes gift card coupon that arrived via snail mail. Oh yeah, we’d get 30 songs for 25 bucks at our house this Christmas!

A few hours after unloading groceries, I realized I hadn’t seen the gift card. I assumed it got left in a grocery sack so I searched my recycle bin.

No card.

I searched my car, my purse, my pockets, my garbage, my children in case they’d found it and were already synching their iPods with new songs. It was nowhere. The only meager Christmas gift I’d bought so far, and it was gone. After ransacking the house, I gave up and started making dinner. I reached into the freezer and pulled out a package of hot dogs . . . and an iTunes gift card fell on the floor. The card was wedged between two packages of wieners.

I’ve discovered a new way to package and transport gifts to ensure they are secure for Christmas. Eat your heart out Amazon!

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