Tuesday, November 20, 2012
30 Days of Gratitude: Day 20 (Internet Shopping)
See, I have all sixteen digits of my Visa memorized. And the expiration date. And the security code. When it comes to shopping, the Internet is the answer. Always, but especially at Christmas.
I first began Christmas shopping online in the late 1990s. I worked long hours at a desk job and lived thousands of miles away from nearly everyone on my shopping list. I'd take a break from contract review and buy a Christmas present while sitting at my desk. The gift would magically show up at its intended destination without my having to pack it in a suitcase or a box bound for UPS. Almost as good as Santa.
It's fifteen years later, and my children are now trained that nearly every box deposited outside our front door will remain unopened. There's no need to get excited about what might be inside, because Mom is going to stash that box somewhere until Christmas. Three large cardboard boxes of 6th birthday presents sat in our foyer for several days last week. The birthday girl knew they were there but was immune.
I'm not the only one sending packages to our door. My parents, who fly to see us at Christmas, order online and ship directly to us. You rarely can glean anything from the return address either because the box is from so general a location (Amazon--my mom) or so completely random (eBay--my dad). My parents even have a special "do not open" code; they type "XX" after my name on the address. Just last week, we drove home at the end of the day to the excitement of a box sitting outside our front door. One of the kids wistfully remarked, "I hope it isn't an XX."
While hordes of crazies will be up before dawn looking for bargains on Friday, I will be sleeping off the carb overload of Thanksgiving Day. I'll do my shopping just like I do this blog--during school hours or after everyone is asleep, in my sweats or my pajamas, sitting in front of my computer. All I need is the Internet and those sixteen secrets digits, and Christmas shopping will be done. For that, I am thankful.