This is the time of year when I hate going shopping. Don't get me wrong I like the Holiday season; snow on the ground; and flashy, shiny lights. But, I hate shopping during this time of year. The malls, free standing businesses, and even the grocery stores are packed with hurried, stressed, and generally rude people who think their needs are far more important than yours.
Even though the Christmas season officially began Nov 26th, stores here have been pushing Christmas since before Halloween ended. Mostly they started setting up their display but in some cases they started with the blue light madness sales. And, like most stores recently, they are not stocking anywhere near enough of the sale items to fill everyone's wants.
You can't wait until the end of the 5 day sale period to get that new tool, or whatever thingy you want. You have to arrived the morning the sale starts and rush to the location the item is displayed and hope that they have enough so you can get one in addition to all the other people who need or want that same thing. While this strategy works well for the store's bottom line it just makes the masses go crazy and stress levels skyrocket.
For the last few years PeterC and I have been buying our gifts to each other online. While this relieves a lot of the stress and general annoyance at having the wade through crowds, it does come with its drawbacks. To guarantee the gifts arrive on time we place our orders in late November and if the post office is very efficient we get the gifts before December even starts. But, retrieving the package usually gives away what, or at least from where, their gift is.
Unfortunately, you can't buy groceries on line. If I could I think I would seriously consider it at this time of year. Luckily we do the majority of our grocery shopping once every two weeks, which requires going into town to get the items we need. The local grocer does carry the essentials, like milk, if we run out early. So no matter how much I hate leaving the house during the "Shopping Season", I still have to. It could be worse.