I never considered it as a “lazy” way of shopping, although some might. When you live alone, as I did for several years until I met my wife, there are certain life-shortcuts that can be expected from the single male which I think should be overlooked or, at least, tolerated. For instance, not making the bed every morning. Or eating most meals over the sink. Or drinking directly from a carton. You get the point.
Where am I going with this? I’m trying to arrive at my old Christmas gift shopping habits. When it comes to Christmas shopping, I look fondly upon those days. I had a particular shopping method I developed for doing the job as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Even in this age of Amazon and all the other online shopping options, I still think my method has some merit. But for now, let’s stick with brick and mortar holiday shopping, where you actually drive somewhere to look for your gift ideas.
Here is Rule No. 1: Avoid the shopping malls. Actually, drive in the completely opposite direction. You will want to go to a place where you would never expect there to be any other holiday shoppers who might slow down the process. Just keep on driving. You will know it when you see it.
One year, it was a lamp store. It had big, beautiful windows showing off their merchandise. What a great selection they offered, and absolutely no crowds. The store just called to me. That year, everyone on my shopping list got a lamp. Think of Oprah, saying “YOU get a lamp! And YOU get a lamp!” It was magical, really.
Another year, it was umbrellas. I found a store that carried a bunch of them. Admittedly, there was not as much variety with that one. But hey, when it started to rain, and my gift recipients reached into their car trunks to retrieve their new umbrella, I bet they thought fondly of me.
Moving on... The local drive-thru carwash business can be a great stop for you to do your Christmas shopping. Who among us doesn’t need another chamois, air freshener tree or tire gauge? Plus, when you are all done buying your holiday gifts there, you come outside to a spick-andspan clean car! Wow, another Christmas miracle.
Kitchen utensils? Check. Piñatas? Yep, done that. The other side to this method, if you are lucky, is to see the reactions of your friends and family as they open your single-minded theme gifts. How long will it take before someone puts it all together? Or will they at all? That’s the thrilling part. But, of course, the gift-opening aspect is just a bonus. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County.