Danecdotes: Don't be like me. Shop early, shop local
Echo Journal editor extraordinaire Nancy Vogt recently wrote a column calling on holiday shoppers to take advantage of Small Business Saturday (usually the day after Black Friday) and patronize local shops in Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Pine River and Crosslake.
That's great advice, and I did absolutely none of that.
I suppose this piece will read like some "do as I say, not as I do" warning, but I really was not the most efficient Christmas shopper this year, and none of the gifts I'm giving will have that local lakes area flavor, I'm sad to report.
Way too much of my shopping was done online. It's just too easy. Someone wants a pressure cooker for Christmas? One is $56 on Amazon and it can be on my doorstep in 48 hours. Struggling to find a certain toy for a child? Target's website has it in stock and they'll deliver to your nearest store.
I would rather some of my Christmas dollars go to local shops, but I find it hard to blame anyone for taking the convenient route of purchasing something from home or work (not me, of course; I would never shop at work).
Granted, most of the shopping I did was for my niece and nephews and kids usually want very specific things, lest Christmas be ruined. However, I'm sure I could have found things around here that my parents, grandma or wife would have enjoyed.
I guess there are always birthdays to shop for.
Also, I am usually much, much better about getting my Christmas shopping done early - not so in 2017.
There have been plenty of holiday seasons where I'm done shopping before December even rolls around. This year, we're four days from Christmas and I have not finished my shopping. That is probably a record for me, and one I don't care to recognize.
I started shopping at least a week before Thanksgiving, but after the easy gifts had been purchased I just kept putting off shopping more and more until I recently hit scrambling mode.
I know it's too late for this year, but get your Christmas shopping done early next year, and try to stop in one of the many fine local stores for your gift-giving needs.
Of course, Christmas is not about the gifts you give and receive, but let's face it. You are going to buy gifts anyhow, so you may as well do it in a manner that keeps the pressure off.