At some point not too long ago, going to the mall went from being a fun, consumer outing to an anxiety-inducing errand from hell.
This shift had to be at around the time online shopping became a legit mode of getting everything you could possibly need online.
While there are still some occasions for which you need or want to go into physical stores to shop, holiday shopping is really not one of them. And here are a slew of reasons why…
1. The Target Trance
There is hardly a time I go shopping in an actual store that I do not walk out with WAY more stuff than I intended to buy. I call this “The Target Trance” but it applies to pretty much any store that offers a bounty of goods. You’ve probably experienced it too.
As you approach the store, you have all your faculties about you. But as soon as you walk through those whooshing doors, you enter The Target Trance. You start adding things to your cart indiscriminately and, with each item, you pause for one sane moment and think, “Do I need this? YES, I need this” with a crazed look in your eye.
Since you’re already shelling out tons of money to get presents for everyone on your list this holiday season, you really don’t need any unnecessary temptation or impulse purchases. And when you do your Santa business online, you’re far less likely to “accidentally on purpose” get yourself some well-deserved gifts as well.
In theory, people are generally wonderful. In a hectic, crowded store or parking lot just days before Christmas? Not so much.
At this time of year, people tend to be over-booked, overwhelmed and under-funded. Stir in the same 10 Christmas songs played on an endless loop and you’ve got the perfect recipe for wacko, stress-fueled behavior. I mean, who doesn’t love unleashing all of their pent-up holiday rage on strangers who look at us the wrong way in Marshall’s? Ah, what a release.
Don’t risk an insane encounter with a stranger who also happens to be reaching for the last Tickle Me Elmo (or whatever) on the shelf. Look at your screen, click buttons and buy stuff without ever looking at or speaking to another human at any point and you’ll be a much happier person.
3. Arctic Streets + Tropic Stores
If you live in a cold weather climate like we do, you know that the struggle of shopping in winter is real. When you enter the store, the initial blast of heat is a dream come true. But after just your first lap around the place in your 15 layers of clothing, it becomes clear that this store is actually a sauna slowly turning you into a sweat-soaked Scrooge.
Sure, you could take your coat, scarf and hat off to get a little relief. But then you’re stuck carrying all that stuff around with you, which is annoying as hell if you’re also carrying around items you intend to purchase and trying to check out other things.
How about you just wear pajamas and keep your internal and external temperature stable the whole time you shop? Good idea.
When shopping in a store, there’s no easy way to tell if the item you’re considering buying as a gift is any good or not. I suppose you could stop and look up reviews of each potential gift on your phone as you shop, but that is very time-consuming and would probably eat up all your phone data and your patience.
The great thing about shopping on sites like Amazon is that you can easily find gifts that are approved by hundreds of other shoppers and weed out ones that suck.
5. The Interwebs Has Everything
A brick and mortar store (even massive department or big box stores) are limited in what they carry. Especially during the busy Christmas season, they are never going to have every color and size available at the store you’re shopping in.
You have much better chances scoring the exact thing you’re looking for (no matter how random or hard-to-find it is) if you look to that great big store in the sky… aka Amazon.
6. Your Holiday Season Downtime is Precious
For most of us, the weeks leading up to Christmas are packed full. Between social engagements, end-of-the-year work stuff and the million little things that need to get done before the big day, you may find you’re struggling to fit in that quality cocoa, Netflix and pajamas time you need.
May I suggest saving yourself a whole bunch of time by shopping online instead of spending hours upon hours in traffic, honky parking lots and long checkout lines? Ain’t nobody got time for that! There are classic holiday movies that need watching and fluffy slippers that need wearing. Priorities, people!
7. You Can Still Shop Small Online
Although you might think of Amazon as just another giant corporation that’s killing off mom & pop shops, keep in mind that many of the things you already buy there are being sold through the Amazon Marketplace.
In other words, when you buy a product that’s sold by a company other than Amazon (like MoonRise Market!), you’re actually supporting small, independent businesses. You can learn check to see who is behind the products you’re buying on Amazon by clicking on the seller’s name and even looking for their external company website.