Although some may think that Senior Citizens and buying Christmas gifts and toys online may not go together, I am here to tell this is rubbish. I won’t hold it against the inexperienced younger folk who believe in such nonsense.
There are many very good reasons why Senior Citizens will be buying lots of Christmas toys and gifts online this year. The biggest reasons are convenience and getting more for less money.
(I apologize for the long article. I realize that some of the younger folks may lose interest and not make it all the way through. Well, that just made this article even longer.)
Okay, I’ll be the first geezer, er, Senior Citizen, to admit that I find shopping for Christmas gifts and toys the tradition way is a bummer; it unmellows my mood.
Christmas Shopping Saga: Here is a Christmas gift shopping saga. It has all happened to me, but I admit, not all in one trip:
Traffic: I hate traffic. Like a black hole in space, time slows down the closer you get to the mall or the mega-box store. Cars are everywhere and parking spots seem to be nowhere. Wait! One just opened up! No! That little hybrid just zipped in and took the spot.
Parking: After an hour of fruitless hunting and stalking, I finally find a parking spot that’s on the very far edge of the parking lot, so far away from the store that I need a GPS to find it and a GPS to find my way back hours later when I have forgotten where my car is.
Getting to the store:As I make my way to the store, I have to fight other drivers who are so intent on looking for phantom parking spots that they fail to notice me. I have never been a fan of the way parking lots mingle people and cars.
The crowd: I make it to the store. Behold the dreaded crowd! I see there must be a sale on pitch forks and torches this year. The mob’s mood takes an ominous turn when a store opens its doors. Those who have camped out overnight wake up sleepily to find that a bunch of last minute folk have just beat them into the store and gobbled up the new shipment of Christmas toys they were waiting for.
Inside the packed store, there is straight-up bedlam served with a jigger of pandemonium. Everyone is looking for Christmas gifts or toys. I make my way through knots of people who are twice as wide as normal because of their shopping bags full of loot.
Leftovers: In the distance, I see the Christmas toy I want but the supply that is left is running dangerously low. As I get closer, I seen first one, then another, snatched up by closer hands than mine. By the time I fight my way through, there is one left, on the floor, half opened, with parts hanging out. Like 3AM at the bar, this one looks pretty good, so I grab it.
The line: Then it’s more sniping, er, shopping for more Christmas toys and gifts. Hours later, with a weary sigh, I head for the checkout area with my Christmas gifts at hand. It doesn’t look that bad at first, but, oh no, the line for the register looks like the line for housing vouchers in the Atlanta area a few weeks ago. Somber medics with bottled water and smelling salts stand by for those not up to the challenge (okay, there are no medics).
Checkout: Finally, feeling utterly spent, it’s my turn at the cash register to pay for my Christmas gifts. Do I have a membership card? Do I want one? Do I want an extended warranty plan? Do I want batteries? The sign above says “NO RECEIPT-NO REFUNDS-30 DAYS”. I offer my credit card. The clerk snarls that I am to swipe it in the card reader. Silly me. I forgot. The crowd glares at me because I am an obvious rookie and holding up the line. People start to point at me.
The Gate Keeper: I pocket my receipt mindful of the sign above. I get to the door but a burly guy bars my path. “Not so fast, old timer,” he shouts. “Where’s your receipt?” So, chagrined, I dig into my pocket and show the nice man my receipt. He looks at it with suspicion, checks it once, checks it twice. Will he find me naughty or nice? Grudgingly, he finds nothing wrong, blinks, and thrusts my receipt back into my hands. So much for the dignity of being an elder.
A breathe of fresh air: Finally, I am out the swooshing door. Cool air greets me. I didn’t notice how hot and humid it was inside. And it smells better outside as well. Well, it smells better until I pass an idling Bronco full of Christmas toys, waiting for something. A gal in front of me lights up a cigarette and I get a lungful of second hand nicotine and exhaust fumes.