Thursday, December 10, 2009

Single: The magic of Internet shopping

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
Here's a funny article about buying for Christmas.  She is humorous, but very informative.  Read the whole article and see if you get any ideas.  Only 15 days until Christmas, time for serious shopping!

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The holiday spirit seems to be infesting me earlier and earlier every year. This time, it was buzzing around me before Thanksgiving plans were even being considered, whispering in my ear that I should start shopping immediately or I would be doomed, doomed. And seeing as how I usually start shopping on Dec. 23 (with mixed results), I decided to listen to that little persuasive voice.
I started hounding my innocent family members to put together wish lists RIGHTAWAY so I could just get on with the shopping already. Then, Black Friday came and went and so did Cyber Monday, and I was a little bitter they didn't quite get their acts together in time for me to get the best deals. After all, it's in their best interests to do so. Still, I've managed to rise above these Herculean-esque challenges, and had over half of my Christmas shopping done before I even set up my tree. This Christmas miracle, dear readers, is all thanks to the Internet.
I love Internet gift shopping. It's just so easy. You browse, you find something interesting, you click and then a few days later it shows up on your doorstep, all perky and new and ready to be wrapped. (Sometimes, to fight off the tiny niggle of disappointment that I've received a package full of stuff for everyone else, I'll throw in a little something for me. I mean, I'm being generous! I SHOULD be rewarded. And no, I do not need another lecture about the true meaning of Christmas or the joy of giving. I'll remember all that later in the month, when the frenzy of shopping has receded and there's room in my soul again for kindness, hope, and love.)
Sadly, some people (cough *the Boy*cough) seem a little intimidated when it comes to online shopping, even though the idea of heading to the mall fills them with Grinchy dread. So in the spirit of helping other people give and thusly improving their lives and overall happiness, I'll step in and offer up three of my favorite Web sites that can help ease the panic.
Amazon.com- This one may seem obvious, as it pretty much has everything and at shiny discounted prices. Also, if your order is over $25, it probably qualifies for free shipping. But the real benefit of this site is that you can put together a wish list so people who want to give you things (like ME!) actually give you what you want. And if you add the Universal Wish list button, you can add things from anywhere on the Web. (However, only items ordered from Amazon can be sent directly to your house unless the gift giver knows your address, because, wisely, Amazon will not disclose where you live.)
Thinkgeek.com- Maybe he NEEDS a tauntaun sleeping bag or an electric guitar T-shirt he can both wear and play. If someone in your life is a techie or Trekkie or any other kind of lovable geek, check this site out. There are handy gift guides for both him and her. There is also a whole section on zombies. Everyone loves zombies.
Etsy.com- This is a site full of handmade things. Jewelry, artwork, clothing. And lest you start to imagine a church holiday fair full of bad macramé, the items for sale are often beautiful and well-made. Also, you're buying directly from the artist, which is win-win. (This site also has gift guides. In fact, most sites do, which is really convenient for everyone. Thanks, Web sites!)
Remember to check out shipping guidelines so you're not looking all Scrooge-ish at Christmas when the goods have yet to arrive. In most cases, orders using ground shipping (often free!) need to be placed by Dec. 17, if not sooner. Also, do a search for promo codes for the sites you're using, as you can often get additional discounts.
So good luck, shoppers. (Just beware the slightly addictive qualities of online shopping, or you'll be like me, awaiting packages from Australia and Japan and making your credit card quiver in fear.)
Heather apologizes for not getting these suggestions out in time for Hanukkah. You can send her holiday wishes at singleontheseacoast@gmail.com.

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