My Personal Christmas Experiment: Why I’m Not Stepping Foot inside a Store This Christmas


I hate shopping.  I’ve always hated shopping.  My mother is basically a professional shopper (that woman has never met a sale that didn’t have her name on it) and didn’t accept the fact her only daughter hated shopping until I was twenty-five.  It was a tough day for her – sorry to disappoint ya mom!  Sixteen years later I still hate shopping.  And holiday shopping is the worst.  I swear after five minutes in a retail store surrounded by frenzied holiday shoppers I want to buy a food pallet, move to the middle of nowhere, build a bomb shelter and shut myself away from civilization.  When I see news stories about people killed on Black Friday by fellow shoppers it makes me seriously question capitalism, the commercialization of the holidays, our own collective humanity.   I think WWJD and my only response is no freaking way would he do this!  Dear eight-pound, six-ounce baby Jesus please deliver us from this insanity!

And this year he did.  This year I had a spark of inspiration.  I thought to myself:  “self, with the technology at your disposal do you actually have to step a single foot inside one of those houses of those crazy retail houses of horror?”  And my self shouted back:  “Not this year, sista!”

So here are my rules for myself this holiday season:

  1.  I can still go into a store as long as I buy nothing for Christmas.  For example, I went to Target yesterday to pick up random things I had promised to my children (teeny-mates to be bought with tooth-fairy money and a “beanie” for my ten-year-old wanna be hipster).  That is legal as I would have made that trip in July of this year.
  2. Restaurants don’t count.  I tend to buy a few folks restaurant gift cards for Christmas and picking up gift cards doesn’t induce the same skin crawling reaction in my as walking into pretty much any retail store this time of year so I am giving myself a pass.
  3. I get one mulligan.  I’ve already promised my friend’s daughter I would take her Christmas dress shopping.  This is technically going to be her Christmas present.  So yes I am already violating my own rules but I’m thinking of it like a cheat day on a diet.  I mean we are all only human, right?   And there’s no way I’m bailing on a promise to a ten-year-old girl.  I’m not the Grinch for Pete’s sake.
  4. Don’t wait until the last minute.  Up until my thirties I used to shop for everything on Christmas Eve.  The genius of this move was that very few people shop Christmas Eve so stores are virtually empty.  Obviously with shipping times I’ve got to be done a good three weeks ahead of the big day to make sure all presents make it.
  5. I’m focusing on experiences not things this Christmas.  I’m trying to stay away from things that need to be wrapped and placed under the tree and more on things that I can do with my family to create memories.

I’m excited for my experiment because I want to feel what it is like to actually enjoy the holidays and not just try to survive them.  Here’s to hoping that I’ve finally after forty-one years figured out a way to make my only Christmas wish come true!

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