Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Hustle and Bustle Mission

Ah this lovely time of the year where it gets chilly enough outside to pile into a heated car and head to our local mall to get some Christmas shopping in. With lists printed out on who wants what and a small supply of cash, the family pairs up and decides just how will they launch their tactical assault on the mall.

The objective, to get in, buy what you need, and get out without losing your Christmas spirit!

Sure the objective always starts out valiently enough, but just where does it all go wrong?

It usually begins before you even get to the mall. Someone will undoubtedly forget their money, their list, their purse or gift cards they planned on using. Worse yet, someone has lost the money they had saved. Or did they just spend it and now can't account for the purchases?

So with the first tragedy averted, you manage to get everyone into the car and proceed to the mall. It never fails to find a day when the mall will not be very crowded. It can be on a Tuesday morning at 8am in the beginning of December and yet, all the parking spaces are gone! So the hunt for the best space begins. Only you are not the only hunter. There are others out there seeking to take that spot, the one closest to the door so that you don't have to walk so far and be out in the weather exposed for too long.

Then there are the teasers. You know the ones I am talking about, those are the ones you watch from your car to see just where they are walking to, and you stalk them through the parking lot with your car just waiting to see where they parked. They arrive at last with the purchases being shoved in the trunk and then they wave at you. You roll down the window because you are not sure that the wave means, and they tell you, "Oh I am not leaving!" followed with a cheeky smile as they slam the trunk to the car and walk back into the mall.

Eventually you find that elusive parking space just as you are about to give up or worse yet, battle to the death in the parking lot of one said parking space. You hike the three miles back up to the mall in the freezing cold and wind, managing to avoid the icy parking lot and reach for the handle of the mall door.

Upon opening it, you are rushed with others attempting to leave the mall as well as the crowd of people pushing past you trying to get in. It's like a round peg in a square hold situation. So you grasp your child's hand to avoid losing them and push forward into battle.

Once inside the mall you are hit with virtually every temptation. There is the Hickory Farms display and tasty samples just waiting for you as you walk by. Gotta pick one of those up because you can make them last most of the year. Then you walk past the See's Chocolate store where not only are the lines out the door but the sample man is passing samples out as you pass by as well. So you pick up a box of those chocolates just in case you need a last minute gift.

There are sales banners hanging from every single store, offering extremely deep discounts of 50-75% off everything in the store, which we all know means on the specially marked display rack of clearance merchandise that is in the store. There are always exceptions!

So you attempt to navigate like a true professional shopper and keep your holiday spirit intact. You find not enough customer service help to assist you in locating your items you need to purchase since everything has been moved to make room for more. There are not enough cashiers to assist you in ringing up your purchases and now the line stretches the entire length of the inside perimeter of the store. Ask for a gift box? Oh they sell those now, there is nothing for free like in the past!

If you do find a store that passes out gift boxes, they specifically count the items you've purchased and hand out exactly that many. Then there are the way the stores are packed to capacity with virtually every item they could carry plus a few left over from last year and they pack the aisles so full that no wheelchair can pass much less a baby in a stroller. So you have to break out your GPS in an attempt to find a way out of the store.

Depending on when you decide to begin this lovely Christmas tradition, more than likely you can't find the items you are searching for and are left with two options, finding a suitable alternative or gift cards.

I mean just how does one package a gift card and still make your tree look festive. Now there is nothing to open on Christmas and the worst part, now that they have gift cards....they are going to want to spend them and that means....another trip to the mall.

This is why I choose to shop online! Merry Christmas and here is hoping that you are all able to keep the Christmas spirit alive as you go about your mission of shopping. Please stop by my other blog linked here to check out a very special story of how one man who hated Christmas found the love there after all.

Would love to have you share your horror stories of the shopping nightmares in my comments!


Denise said...

Praying for you sweetie.

He & Me + 3 said...

I totally love shopping and checking names off my list is like an adrenaline rush:) LOL
Shopping online is nice too...shipped right to the door...can't beat that.

Deborah Ann said...

I haven't even started yet! Tree is still in the attic, haven't bought one single present. Wish I could just sleep until Jan 1st.

christy rose said...

I shop online too!!!!
Very little store shopping for me! I like it that way, thank you Jesus for the internet, for so many reasons!!! :)

Danae Hudson said...

I like your A.R.K. idea and I'm going to see if maybe my husband and I can start to do that. Really though, I do very little shopping. We all just like to hang out and get dinner together as our Christmas gift!

I hope that you're feeling better!!

Grandma Elsie said...

I too love to do my shopping on line. AS I got older and arthritis came to live in my hips and back I found I didn't like the hustle and bustle like I once did either. So you go girl. I'm with you all the way.
Say a little prayer for me . Been sick since Sunday afternoon and the diarrhea doesn't want to go away. I am OK but jello and lemon sprite ( I dislike ginger ale ) are getting old . LOL

Andrea said...

I shop all year long, picking up bargains. Usually, by the time everyone starts shopping I am done or almost done. I like it that way. Of course, tomorrow I am off to help a good friend who always waits to the last minute. GOD BLESS HER!

Kathleen said...

No nightmares here. I actually don't shop unless it's long before December. But I do love going to the Mall this time of year even if not to shop - - the smells, the lights, the busy-ness are actually delightful if you don't have to do anything.


Darcie said...

We actually really keep the gift giving to a minimum, and our kids know that is not what we try to focus on. It has actually gotten harder as the kids have gotten are a thing of the past for 3 of our 4 kids. Being that I don't LOVE to shop it is not something I look forward to.

Edie said...

Glad to know I'm not the only parking lot stalker. LOL!

Sees candy?? Everyone wants a box of Sees!!!! Here in TX they only have a little cart in the mall at Christmas and it doesn't stock much. I miss Sees! :D

I rarely ever go to the mall. Fortunately I have so little to buy for Christmas it's simple.

Loved your post!

Edie said...

I know! I can order from Sees online! :D

Mich said...

the computer has been my shopping buddy this year too.

Hope you are still on the mend. said...

I can't stand going to the malls in December ...UNLESS I don't HAVE to buy anything! Then, like Kathleen said, ... it's fun! I did my best shopping this year during JANUARY last year, bargains and huge mark downs! Loved your descriptions of the parking lot.. So funny, and so true!

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

I don't think I could handle the malls at t his time of the year. Bless you.

Unknown said...

When I lived in the high desert, there was only one mall, the Mall of Victor Valley and trust me, it was always loaded with people. Actually, before getting to the mall, the street was congested and took 30 minutes or more which would usually take 5 minutes.

By the time I found a parking spot, there were usually two other cars barreling down the road the wrong way to steal it from me. I would smile and wave them on, not that they cared. I would continue to look for the ultimate spot...any spot and then, low and behold, I'd find one and then discover that someone was double parked.

Needless to say, this year, we're doing homemade gifts or used gifts so I'm not worrying much about being in the mall.

I hope you're feeling better.

Tori Leslie said...

I'm also doing a ton of my shopping online too. Actually I always do since we live in Europe and all the family's in Texas.
I've managed to keep my Christmas spirit but it's easy when I'm sitting in the office at home listening to Christmas music.

BTW, I'm new here! :0)
I'll be back!

Yolanda said...

I'm not a shopper, so the hustle and bustle doesn't even compute for me.

I'm about shopping for one's birthday and then there is no hoopla to fight over. ;-)

Love to you,

Jen said...

Reading this gave me chills! I choose to do my shopping online, too because I can't stand the crowds. Plus, every day another package is delivered so it's like Christmas every afternoon when the mail comes!