Online shopping takes the fun out of Christmas

OPINION

BY DAVE PRICE
Daily Post Editor

This isn’t a profound observation, but online shopping has taken a lot of fun out of Christmas. For the last century, the Christmas spirit has been pushed relentlessly by old fashioned brick-and-mortar retailers.

Many of the Santa movies seem to revolve around that big Macy’s store in New York. And of course the Thanksgiving Day parade in that city is all about getting people in the spirit of the season.

I can hear the anti-capitalists groaning as I write this, complaining that Christmas is too commercial. Maybe, but in my lifetime there’s always been a commercial aspect intertwined with the sentimental holiday that involves gathering with family and going to church on Christmas Eve.

While I generally hate shopping, Christmas forces you to go out and find things in stores, maybe little knickknacks or trinkets, and engage in a social experience of greeting other shoppers, often your friends, who are doing the same thing.

Picking out gifts for kids causes adults to reminisce about their childhood. I’d rather buy a little red Radio Flyer wagon than an Xbox. Maybe that’s just me being nostalgic.

And then there’s Santa in the stores (now in the malls), with long lines of kids waiting for a minute to sit on his lap.

On the other hand, shopping online is dehumanizing. You click in a couple of places on a computer screen and a robot in a warehouse ships somebody a gift. Maybe it’s the same gift you could get in the store, but it feels less personal.

I know we’ll never be able to turn back time when it comes to Christmas, but I’m trying to do all my shopping this year in stores as my little protest.

Editor Dave Price’s column appears on Mondays. His email address is price@padailypost.com.