Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joy of Shopping

December 14, 2011
One of the famous retailers said that shopping is entertainment. Indeed, it can be entertaining much in the fashion of Las Vegas, where you know you are being had. Shopping can be likened to a game where you seek out that special deal and beat the house. The odds are against you in the long run, but one winner can keep you coming back for more.

The rules of the game are changing. Now everything is on sale. If it red sign doesn't say the price is reduced by at least 30%, you feel riped off. When everything is discounted, how do you find the real deals? My strategy is to find those items which are not discounted, difficult but not impossible.
I can't tell you how good it feels to double check with the cashier that my item was not discounted!

Retailing has gone beyond entertainment to now include dining and exercise in its pantheon of ways to get you into the store. Recently I went to an IKEA store accidentally before it opened. You get free coffee, a real incentive for geezers. In fact I think IKEA, COSTCO, and other big box stores are now the dining experience of choice for a large segment of our country.

The third leg of the Joy of Shopping is exercise. Where else but a mall or a big box store can you feel it in your legs that you have had a workout? The exertion of walking those long aisles in search of that yet to be revealed item can't be duplicated any place else. You are exausted, and hungry. Thank goodness the food counter in near the entrance/exit doors.

People in other parts of the world often misread us. They think we are just a money-hungry, consumption-oriented society that misses the whole point of Christmas. We are more than that, we are a multi-tasking, money-hungry, consumption-oriented society with lots of hyphenated words.

Then there is Samoa where Christmas is a religious holiday, albeit commercialism is beginning to appear. "Gift-giving" happens at the end of the school year in November when the top students recieve a Holy Bible, writing pads, and pencils. "White Sunday" in early October is when all children usually get gifts. This a day to recognize the importance of children and when children for the one day assume adult privilages.

So is it Better to Give than to Recieve? Who really cares during the quest for a gift and a deal, and the rush of the Joy of Shopping?

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