Shopping days dwindle

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 11.17.06 PMBy Mary O’KEEFE

I don’t want to scare anyone but there are only seven shopping days left before Christmas. Even those of us who began shopping in August have those last minute items for the relative you got in the Secret Santa drawing or your child reminding you of a gift she just has to get for a friend.

In a perfect world holiday shopping should be fun and relaxing. You should meet friends along the avenue as you stroll from shop to shop. See children’s eyes grow big as they see Santa walk down the sidewalk. There should be a horse drawn trolley that clip-clops down the street and holiday music should not blast through ill equipped speakers but be performed live by talented musicians. When you walk into a shop you should see the shop owner and his or her employees that are happy to be there. The employees, and I know this is a radical thought, should actually be familiar with the merchandise they sell and be the students that paid attention in math class and do not depend on the electronic cash register to give the customer the right change. (Seriously I was at a store in the mall when the register went down and the employee asked me how much change I was due.) You should be able to find unique gifts so when it is unwrapped everyone says, “That is wonderful. Where did you get that? What a clever shopper you are.” OK that might be pushing it but just once wouldn’t it be great to have your mother-in-law like the gift you give her.

Sound like a town we all know?

Now I am not saying that Montrose Shopping Park is the perfect world but it is pretty close. With the year we have all been through I think it is important to bring things home. Shopping locally supports our neighbors and friends and helps  our community.

Holiday shopping shouldn’t add to the stress of the day but something that reminds us of the meaning of the season which is not about getting but giving, being with family and friends and allowing us to strive for that elusive Norman Rockwell Christmas.