• Theo

2020 - My Christmas Shopping Experience

Christmas shopping is crazy right now, whether online or in town. As it gets closer to Christmas the busier it gets and if you struggle with anxiety, it can get pretty overwhelming. I decided to do all my shopping early and I’m happy to say that I’m done!

I started with shopping online. The main reason was to get a few ideas, then Black Friday came about which is a great time to get gifts, as it’s the same thing, just a little bit cheaper. Usually, it’s not a good idea because of returns. However, one plus side of coronavirus and the pandemic is that the return periods are longer. Amazon for example have extended their returns until the 31st of January. Online shopping is the way forward, but given the current times, everyone is doing it.

That leads me to the next stressful point. Making sure everything arrives in time. Of course, most e-commerce sites have the option of paying for next day delivery but I never found it to actually come the next day. In fact, opting for free delivery usually got it to me sooner than other options. Now that prime exists, things seem to be a bit different but Christmas throws the spanner in the works for everyone.

Once I was happy with what I’d bought online, I decided to brave the shops. I knew which ones I needed to go to and what I was going to get. I went with someone so that it wasn’t too overwhelming and made sure to get to places as early as possible.

Going to a shopping centre was a little stressful, even though I was there at eight in the morning. It was empty to start with but within ten minutes, the popular shops were crowded. Primark was the first point of call and it was busy very quickly. The hand sanitising stations were at the entrance but that was it. Keeping your distance became practically impossible. As you’ve probably noticed, there are plenty of people who aren’t so bothered about getting close. Anyway, other shops were a little more strict. H.Samuel for example has a barrier put up and will only let a certain number of people in at a time. It honestly made the whole shopping experience better. I didn’t feel pressured to get out of the way and all of the staff were helpful as well as kind. Boots has a similar policy of only letting in a certain number of people.

Having a plan when it comes to Christmas shopping definitely helps. You have a budget and you can research everything online. Ordering online is great provided you have plenty of time but for me, it’s just stressful. I realised I felt so much better going out and being done within a couple of hours. Everything is paid for and I have everything with me. Waiting for packages to arrive and then not being able to track them brings so much stress. We’ve become so used to being able to check everything and then when you can’t anymore, it feels like something goes wrong. It’s a waiting game. The message I got from Amazon was that if it doesn’t arrive by a certain date then to revisit the page and get a refund. That’s an admirable policy on their behalf but frustrating when you want the goods. Do you order another one just in case so that it’ll come in time? Do you go out and buy one? Do you contact the seller?

Christmas is supposed to bring good feelings so if you find yourself getting stressed about the little things, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You don’t need to impress anyone or spend a fortune. It truly is the thought that counts.

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