Eastern Wake: Opinion

Column: Oh, the joy of holiday shopping

So, it turns out that my children like to go shopping with me.

Who would’ve guessed? Certainly not me.

It’s no secret that shopping, any time of the year, is a challenge for people like me. Christmas just magnifies the fun. I’m not a shopper in the truest sense of the word.

Shoppers – like my wife, Becky – go into seven different stores before returning to the first store to buy the item they are interested in.

I go into a single store, knowing exactly what I want to buy. I find an employee as close to front door as possible and ask them where I can find the item I wish to buy, then walk directly from the shelf to the checkout stand. Total time in the store? Eight minutes tops, depending on the length of the check out line.

It really reduces the pain and strain of my shopping experience.

I went shopping with my youngest daughter Pitt on Tuesday night. She had several items she needed to purchase from several different stores. We mapped out a route to keep from driving willy-nilly from one side of town to the other and back. We walked in to each store, found our items, paid for them and “voila”... we were done. Total damage: six stores (including the Burger King drive-thru) in less than two hours.

When we got in the car the final time before heading home, Pitt paid me what I consider to be the highest compliment a non-shopper can receive.

“I like shopping with you. I feel like we were a whole lot more productive than I would have been if I had gone shopping with my friends.”

Cha-ching. 200 bonus Daddy points.

Just a few days before I went out with Pitt, I had taken a shopping expedition with my oldest daughter, Anna Kate. We enjoyed a similar experience and came home loaded down with Christmas gifts.

Her comment was equally gratifying. “You’re so easy to shop with. We only have to go into a few stores and we’re done.”

Cha-ching. Another 200 bonus Daddy points.

Of course all this takes some planning. We sit around our kitchen table and brainstorm ideas for gifts we think would be well-received and appreciated before we ever hit the first store.

But I can do that work without the crowds and without the aimless wandering from aisle to aisle, hoping that the next shelf will include the desired item.

There is great joy for some people in bargain hunting and finding the perfect item for 25 percent off. Admittedly, I don’t get that benefit from my shopping experience. But the thought of getting the work done quickly and minimizing the agonizing searches is worth paying that extra money.

To each his own, I suppose. I’m just happy to have my Christmas shopping done a full 10 days before the due date. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I got some fun daddy-daughter time with my children out of the deal. And, I’m hoping those bonus Daddy points will come in handy during the holiday season when I ask the girls to pick up all the trashed wrapping paper and bows from a host of newly-opened gifts.