The ending to the original saying is drop. Shop until you drop. That is not the case these days and hasn’t been since Al Gore invented the Internet and retailers populated it with websites we can go broke on. When I was a kid my Christmas started with the arrival of the Sears catalog. Yes, I’m that old. The joy of combing through the Big Book – as it was referred to then – and circling what I wanted Santa to bring was always a highlight of my holiday season. Finding out that Santa only brought me a small fraction of what I circled was the lowlight. Nonetheless, I enjoyed receiving what I did get, but more importantly looking for gifts for my siblings and parents was fun as well. Sears retired the Big Book in 1993, just as the Internet was getting traction. I won’t bore you with the statistics but online Christmas shopping is quite an economic force unto itself. It’s so popular it has its own “Cyber Monday” where people can spend endless hours at their desk while at work looking for Christmas deals. But to give credit where credit is due, I can for the first time announce that I have purchased my first Christmas gift of the 2013 season and it is not yet Dec. 22 or 23. I owe it all to an online store and a few clicks of my mouse, oh and all those numbers they need off my credit card. I will actually have this gift wrapped and ready for the tree, before the tree is ready for the gift. Since I’ve dipped my toe in the water I’m (as they say) going all in. This year I’m doing all my shopping online. This won’t mean I won’t visit a mall or a store or two. It just means I won’t be one of those crazed looking shoppers who lose what the real meaning of Christmas is. You know these crazy people I’m referring to. The ones with the scowl on their face, looking like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. When actually it’s not the world, but a few dozen bags full of Christmas loot. So, pour yourself some eggnog and turn on the laptop and shop till you drop, or as long as the battery on your laptop stays charged.
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.