I went to do some Christmas shopping the other week and most of the time I was fighting my way through the shops, I was thinking “Why didn’t I do it on-line?”
What a change! Now I can pick out gifts for friends and family in specialist shops and get them delivered anywhere in the country without having to queue at the post office while a confused old lady who isn’t me fumbles over stamps for a badly wrapped parcel going to brattish grandchildren in a former colony. (Even thinking about Christmas crowds puts me in a bad mood. I’m sure some of the brattish grandchildren are not really very brattish, or even in former colonies. Obviously, if I ever am blessed with grandchildren, they will be the brattiest ones on the planet, and proud of it!)
Only a few years ago – when my children were little for example – Christmas shopping still meant going to physical shops (or possibly using a catalogue, like Littlewoods, or latterly, Argos). The time needed to get all the presents was enormous; now I can spend one day shopping and finish off at home in comfort. To be honest I could probably do even more at home if I really wanted.
But my point is that the whole approach to Christmas shopping, and shopping in general, has changed enormously. I have food delivered to the house each week; and yet, when I was very little, we bought fish from the fish van, and various other products from other men in vans. Local shops delivered orders. So perhaps things have not so much changed, as changed back.