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How Do You Shop?

Over the past few years I’ve shopped online quite a bit. I’ve discovered many of my medical supplies are more economically priced at certain online retailers, and I’m all about saving money where I can. This year I’ve shopped online more than I ever imagined. However, I still prefer to visit brick and mortar stores for important purchases such as gifts and groceries.

I didn’t start my Christmas shopping until December this year. I typically have it almost finished by Black Friday. Thus far, I have only purchased one gift from a brick and mortar store. I’ve ordered a few things online, but the vast majority of my shopping has yet to be done.

I believe in shopping local, which I haven’t done yet. I have an aversion to crowds, and I detest wearing my mask. That said, I will don my mask and brave the crowds to visit some of my favorite local stores because they are important to me. I know the pandemic, shutdown, and general public unease have hurt them this year. I will try to time my trips to these stores at their least busy times, probably right after they open for the day.

I’ve stayed home more this year than in my entire life. My meetings are conducted via Zoom, Facebook Rooms, and other online forums. I haven’t been to a movie in nearly a year. I dine in restaurants very seldom. I dash into the grocery store, grab what I need, and hurry on my way.

Many of my friends do store pickup and curbside delivery where they don’t even enter the store. While it’s safer for their health, they miss things that might otherwise have interested them. There’s the whole “not quite right” worry, as well. I know several people who wanted a bunch of bananas and ended up with a single banana.

I went shopping last Saturday morning. I needed one thing, but I wanted to look around a little to see if I could mark some things off my Christmas list. I arrived at the store a few minutes after it opened and was thrilled to see only a couple of other cars in the parking lot.

Wearing my mask, I entered the store and easily located the item I wanted. Then I browsed for half an hour. The result? I found a gift for my husband that he will love. I didn’t know that item even existed until I saw it. If I had ordered what I wanted online, I never would have seen that special item that will make my hubby smile on Christmas.

Things are different this holiday season. I realize many of us avoid getting out, but let’s not forget our local businesses that would appreciate our patronage this season. I have some great locally owned stores and markets in my area. I bet you do, too. They may even offer curbside pickup. I know they would appreciate your interest.

Stay safe, and enjoy your shopping, my friends!

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