The joyful shopper

shopperSome of you have read my other blogs that include child-friendly stories triggered by my own experiences. Today I am reflecting on another familiar experience from my grown up life: the annual holiday shopping excursion.

It’s right before the holiday and I wandered into our local mall today. It felt good to have a day free of work pressures and to be able shop with a reasonable number of other shoppers. With no large list of gifts to purchase, I was able to enjoy the experience.

Today I saw that shoes were beautiful art pieces for feet, and purses were soft and colorful pouches to grace the shoulder. Neither was on my purchase list today. I chose, however, to enjoy all of the sights, sounds and smells I could discover.

Wandering up and down the center displays at Macy’s, I sprayed numerous samples of perfume for consideration. What a joy it is to see the different shaped bottles, varying colors of liquid in them (pinks, purples, green and gold) and with such delightful scents! It’s hard to buy a perfect perfume, so the hunt itself can be a sweet experience.

The rest of my experience at the local mall was similar. I had two stockings to fill for my grown daughters, and I wanted each item to be special. That’s a tradition I keep that will not be going away any time soon.

Over the years, I’ve found a way to make Christmas shopping a pleasurable experience. I only choose to go to stores (or online merchants) that bring me joy. My parents and uncle are delighted recipients of gifts from L.L. Bean’s Christmas wreath and evergreen centerpiece collection. I like to place my order by phone because they are so nice! (Are you sensing a common theme here?)

I had to stop at Barnes & Noble and drop a few dollars there. During the year I read many a magazine that I don’t end up purchasing. Bringing the score more even during the holiday season felt right. Oh, yes, and thank you Macy’s for the beautiful parade on Thanksgiving. That’s a big reason why I shop with you.

Many in my circle prefer not to exchange gifts, and that’s more than fine with me! Some like money. I’ve talked to many co-workers and family about holiday shopping. Many participate in the craziness, but don’t enjoy it. Others, like me, have found a method that suits their own beliefs and needs.

When I was a child, I knitted a hat for my dad one year and a pair of mittens the next. At the time, I couldn’t have fully understood how dear that was to do. If I had the time and half the patience I had when I was young, I would hand-make all of my gifts. Alas, that’s not my current reality. You may relate to this modern-day dilemma.

This posting is not an anti-materialistic rant, for sure. It is, however, a call to be mindful of each purchase. You don’t have to shop like me (unless it suits you), but by all means find a system that doesn’t rob you of your joy.


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