Six years ago, the National Retail Confederation created Cyber Monday.  Lots of businesses – and lots of buyers – have gotten aboard with the concept since.  On this first Monday after Thanksgiving, my email is flooded with Cyber Monday specials.

I’ve found myself doing more gift-buying (and shipping) over the Internet.  As a little kid, I loved the rituals of going Christmas shopping with my mom.  I have fond memories of watching the snowflakes fall past the glowing Christmas decorations that seemed to hang from every lamppost in the city.  The warmth of knowing I had picked exactly the right gift for each recipient.

But then, there WAS the hassle of lugging it all home.  And wrapping it.  (Good Lord, I NEVER got good at that!)  And standing in the long, long lines at the Post Office, with the awkward pile of packages to be shipped.

Practicality does get in the way of nostalgia, doesn’t it?

In the next few days, I’m afraid a good deal of my gift-buying is going to be online, probably more to spare myself the hassle of gift-SHIPPING than for any other reason.

Cyber Monday and the changing paradigm of Christmas gifting – what’s YOUR take on it?


  1. I do the same thing. Shopping on the internet takes most of the sting out of the Christmas shopping and gift giving, except for the after holiday season bills. I don’t think I’ve walked into a store to shop in years.

  2. Good Lord, the last thing that I need is more schlock in the house. Personally, I’ve found the Cyber Monday “deals” to not be all that special. They do, however, clutter up the inbox.

  3. CyberMonday makes it easier to spend too much 🙂 That being said, enjoy the convenience vice the threat of pepper spray at Wal Mart.
    Mas, I recall fond memories of “Black Friday” shopping with my grandmother and aunt. As I got older, it was something I began to loathe due to the commericalism and crowds. I do miss my grandmother and the time with her……

  4. Cyber Monday is a short-term anachronism.

    It was created when people went back to work on Monday after Thanksgiving, where they had internet access, and did there shopping.

    Well, guess what? People who are tech-savvy enough to shop online have internet access at home. And online retailers are pushing the Christmas deals earlier and earlier.

    Online retailers are pushing out Black Friday deals. They’re pushing out weekend deals. One retailer sent me specials that were only good Thanksgiving Day. I got bargains that started the first of November.

    Cyber Monday? 90% of my shopping is already done.

    At this point, the entire concept of ‘Cyber Monday’ exists mostly in the minds of journalists. It’s time has come and gone.

  5. Most Christmas shopping here is done online, and all of it ahead of time.

    I remember the frantic and chaotic Christmas shopping all too well as a kid. Rushing to stores across town a few days before Christmas, dealing with the massive crowds. Not exactly my cup of tea.

    As of today, we’re all set for Christmas here. Only thing left to do is visit family right before Christmas when most of them are starting their shopping. Last year we had some family shopping well into the night on Christmas Eve. It was hard not to grin…

    Shopping online? Yeah, that’s how I do most of my shopping. It’s fun going to the stores but it’s more convenient and usually a lot cheaper shopping online. Plus you avoid the crowds (and criminal safe zones… see a fair amount of stores whatnot that are “No Firearms”).

  6. We pick up a card from the local Apothecary tree and buy some poor child a basket of gifts. Since we have all we need, it is a great way to signal Christmas. We do mostly stckings at home, so a lot of ‘shopping’ is niot required. Best to all! Jack

  7. Wish it was easier for us Californians to order firearms through the mail! “We do not ship to California” is seen far too often.

  8. Are you ready for a RADICAL idea? How about NO shopping at Christmas? I gave up on trying to figure out what to get people who are overstuffed with everything. Giving presents to middle-class Americans is like giving water to fish, or giving food to a fatso. I tell people not to buy me anything, and I don’t buy them anything. I decided to keep giving to children, but even they have too many toys!!! So, my nephews will simply get portraits of Andrew Jackson {$20 bills} in old-fashioned paper Christmas cards.

    Of course, if everyone thought like I do, the economy would collapse even quicker than it is collapsing now. Even atheists wouldn’t cancel Christmas for that reason, they need the money.

  9. Hope everyone had a happy and save Thanksgiving.

    Cyber Monday is definitely safer than Black Friday for everything except the credit cards. One has to wonder if the Black Friday casualties this year might exceed our military casualties in the mid-east during the same time frame. One look at the mall is enough to make me retreat to the lake or woods.

    Other than Christmas eve and day, we plan to spend most of the holidays with nieces and nephews at the deer lease. The time together is a much better gift than than can be purchased.

  10. Trying to think of the actual stores I’ve been in lately, the butcher, the bakery, the hardware store, and Cabela’s on black Friday. The pc brings the store to me. It’s a time saver that I use all year. I can’t imagine the gas that it has saved me over the years and the receipt page ALWAYS says thank you.
    I really get a kick out of the delivery folks thanking me for keeping them busy.

  11. Mas, those memories which we older folk have are part of americana lost. We are very fortunate that we really experienced the spirit of Christmas. If you recall, it wasn’t just the gift, it was the thoughtfulness and effort-yes the wrapping-that counted. I miss it.

  12. Malls are dying. Only enclosed one in this county is largely unrented – and what space in it IS occupied very largely is restaurants rather than stores.
    Add that Internet shopping has both the convenience of no parking hassles and no lines – and avoids the increasing security hassles of malls whose “patrons” in recent years largely have been teenage boys moping around – and women are flocking away from the malls.

  13. But only the CMP will deliver guns to my porch. I’m afraid our family will still have to go shopping the old fashioned way, at the counter of the gun shop. 🙂

  14. We’re lucky that there are just the 2 of us, and we give to each other all year long. If I see something she likes, or I think she would like, I pick it up for her, and she does the same for me. But we each try to find some small thing each year from a real store, mostly to keep the other from finding out should a package be delivered. Our first Christmas in our house, I gave her a Ruger SP-101. She still has it, right by the bed, and now it has CT laser stocks on it. Last year I gave her a Glock Model 26, and for her birthday in May 200 rounds of 9mm ammo. She bought me a new SIG-Sauer 1911 Scorpion a couple of months ago, so I don’t expect anything this year for Christmas. And no, guys, she’s all mine and you can’t have her.

  15. That’s the problem with society today. Remebering my childhood and not seeing anything Christmas until Santa was in front of Macy’s at the end of the parade on Thanksgiving morning. Going to Manhattan with my father was a special outing to see the Christmas displays in store fronts. What do we have today, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s having Christams items out on display prior to Halloween. I’m quite surprised that the Easter decorations are not out yet. Just my opinion now, the holiday season has circled the drain and is long gone with the way it has been commercialized. Its just not a special time of the year anymore, for me.
    Merry Christmas to all and if you are offended by that Tough Tanoogies.

  16. My two pennyworth? Is that ultimately, whether you shop online or in person, it’s the thought behind the gift that counts.

  17. I have a different perspective. I see Internet shopping as a throw back to the grand old days of the Sears catalog. Sears was on the leading edge in the late 19th century with its catalog. You could buy most everything you needed and have it shipped directly to your door. It no longer mattered if you lived close to a big city.

    I remember looking forward to that Christmas catalog every year. We bookmarked the pages and compared notes. Now you can send your wish list to all your email contacts. There really is nothing new under the sun.

  18. I wasn’t going to post anything on this topic, until I read Scrooge in NJ. I agree exactly. I don’t want anything for Christmas. I want to go to church come back and have a dinner with the family.

    Of late I’ve been thinking about this society and what is happening to it. I worked in sales and IT for 30 years. The lasting effect of a life in pursuit of the almighty signature on the contract has been as follows. I see this society in a death spiral of consumerism. You can’t tell me that folks can live 364 days of the year with what they have, then on the 365th they have this desperate need for 12 new items. BS. Inventory your home. You probably have well over a thousand items in it. How many have you used in the last 6 months? How many of the electronic items in the house are stealing time from family members interacting with each other? So here I am on blog spending time, but 10 years ago what was I doing? I was getting news ink on my hand over the morning coffee. I went to the local candy store, talked to the owner, maybe picked up a coffee and danish on the way to work or home, you get the picture. Now I sit in the morning dark and isolation. Crazy. And this is happening to millions in this country and elsewhere. Watch any TV show. Half of it is commercials. Read any blog. Ads all over. There is this constant unending push for more. Even in the gun world. Now SHOT show comes with thousands of NEW things to buy. You JUST HAVE TO HAVE THIS. Gotta buy it. Every where is some outlet for the manufacturers pushing their stuff.

    It is a sick, debilitating disease. I am leaning to the too many people in the world. Too much of consumerism being pushed on people that can ill afford it. Too much of the electronic crap. Think about what an agricultural life of work producing FOOD, HEAT, SHELTER gave us. Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Franklin. Brilliant men who advanced THOUGHT AND VALUES.

    Two references in the wider world recently added support to my opinion. First is that I read something about J.K. Rowling author of the Harry Potter series. She has refused to have any of her works published as e-books. Zero. Her opinion is that books are meant to be read off of paper. Good on her !

    The other item I came across is even more of a surprise. Listened to Chris Matthews of MSNBC lambasting the White House environment. Now Matthews served as a staff aid to Tip Oneill in Congress. In the days prior to the electronic world. He tore into the WH being staffed with “kids with propellers on their heads”, sending emails and posting on facebook. No meetings, no telephone calls. No interaction with other people. Forget his politics but I think he is absolutely dead on. I see it in my kids and their friends. They spend hours and hours face forward to the computer screen.

    I remember being a kid a long time ago on hot summer days. A gaggle of post WWII babies playing stick ball on the city streets long into the nite. Playing Ringolevio or box ball on the side of apartment house, or stoop ball. All gone. I know I am sounding like the old guy yelling at the kids on his lawn, but jeeze something is really wrong out there. Who was that lady fitness trainer who used to scream…”STOP THE INSANITY !!!”

  19. @Long Island Mike-

    You know I just did some winter cleaning and after about 10 years of IT work, you wouldn’t believe all the spare stuff I had (actually…you probably could). Any way after giving a bunch of friends and family assorted upgrades, the rest went to donation.

    But yeah, the consumerism gets old. It’s probably been almost two years since I’ve stepped into a movie theatre. One big reason is most movies are half-baked and pushed out to turn a quick buck. Take a look a Disney catering to little boys because they bring in the most profit (Tangled and Cars 2 in particular).

    Check out Brian Jacques (another author), refuses to have his books turned into movies because he wants to encourage people to read instead. Ebooks have some advantages but I still love my hardbacks. Got a decent collection of both. Regardless of hardback or ebook though, I’d say quite a few people would be well served picking up ANY kind of reading. Quality of English on the average Internet forum anyone?

    Stuff is nice but I’ll take good company any day. Thanksgiving is starting to be my favorite holiday more and more. Ah well, at least we can always put thought in the presents we give at least…

  20. Sitting here in rural, small town, Northern New York State, I greatly appreciate the degree e-commerce has improved my gift giving abilities. The vendor world is literally at my fingertips. The good old Postal Service goes everywhere, and at they will deliver free shipping supplies, print labels and postage, even come to my place for outgoing parcels with carrier pickup. The local gun shop gladly faxes their FFL anywhere and does transfers for $30, so guns online are a good, viable option also. The only thing I miss is haggling for price. Eyeball to eyeball, there are very few merchants that will let a sale walk out the door over 10 to 20 percent. Many local retailers will match on line prices, but I’ve yet to come up with a good way to dicker with electronic sales carts. For me, it’s still fun fun to shop and to give. Mas, thank you for your many years of giving your wit and wisdom, in print and online. As a reader, I’ve been blessed. Merry Christmas, all.

  21. Wrapping gifts: “It’s simple. It’s just not easy.” Ha Ha. I learned to wrap mostly because I was an aircraft tech in the Navy and every part had to be bubble-wrapped. I can do up the boxed gifts in 2 minutes or so (but it takes me an hour to clean my 1911..). You sound like a gift-bag kind of guy to me, Mr Ayoob. Don’t sweat it. Maybe someone local is looking for a job and you could pay in lessons. I love barter.
    Suggestion: set your goal at doing it with 3 short pieces of tape.

  22. Mass your very right on the 20ga. being a good deffense and hunting shot gun I have only 2, 12ga. left and have 3, 20ga. now I have an old double which I love and a nice Mossburg pump and I gently used autoloader that is a great bird gun.

    Also I am an old Wheel Gun guy with 23 years on the job and carried one every day for 17 of the 23 years until the Dept made my go to an auto loader. I like it but I love my wheel guns and to this day for my concealed gun I use a Ruger LCR. 357 Magnum or a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 Special + P rated with a laser sighting system an my old tired eyes work great with that. Now on the LCR I have a big dot front sight that works great also.

    Thanks and keep up the good work and have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.