Well, the holiday shopping season has officially started, at least according to the national news, which seems to have embraced an annual tradition of focusing on the increasingly weird measures people are taking in order to be first in line at Wal-Mart on Black Friday (this year: camping out in tents like Star Wars geeks). Do any of you venture out among the crowds on this traditional trample-your-neighbor-for-the-cheapest-DVD-player shopping day? I’ve never been tempted, mostly because I like my feet shaped just the way they are, rather than flattened under the weight of a thousand wild-eyed bargain-hunters barreling towards the electronics aisle.
I do almost all of my shopping online these days. I’ve always liked poking around stores looking for the perfect gift—at least when the store in question isn’t crowded to the point of asphyxiation—but I no longer have the luxury, really. I mean, there’s no such thing as browsing with a toddler, you know? You had better get in and get out, military-operation-style, or woe to all within earshot.
Plus, the free time, it just isn’t there. Between working, freelancing, home life, and everyday errands, there aren’t many opportunities to hit the mall. So, thank goodness for digital shopping carts. And last-minute shipping.
For the most part, I use Amazon (they’re running their own Black Friday sale today, by the way) for holiday shopping, but there are a few other sites I like to check out this time of year. I’ll share mine if you share yours, okay?
Red Envelope. This site often has some unusual, cute stuff, and everything comes ready to gift in their signature pretty red box. You can search by gift recipient, which can help with brainstorming ideas for those hard-to-buy folks on your list.
Dean & Deluca. Can you ever go wrong with gourmet food as a gift? Well, probably, what with allergies and diets and food sensitivities and moral objections to various items for various reasons, but screw it, Dean & Deluca has awesome stuff. Buy some goodies for yourself if everyone you know is picky.
Cabelas. Cabela’s has an amazing selection of hunting/camping/outdoors gear, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re shopping for outdoor enthusiasts or people who just like rustic-themed stuff. From antler chandeliers to camo baby booties (whoah), Cabela’s has a nearly frightening selection.
Met Museum Store. This site and others like it often have things that are just kind of neat, items that get you thinking about people you know who might like them. I get the Met Store’s catalogue, and even though I think I’ve only bought something once I always enjoy paging through their options.
For those of you who let your fingers do the shopping this time of year, where do you like to virtual-browse?