Opinion

Editor's Column: Make Internet shopping memorable

"Relatives who ventured to the mainland Friday for a daring shopping excursion reported crowds were surprisingly light, which means that everyone else was at home shopping on the Internet.But is the Internet the shopping experience we want our children to remember? Some day, they’ll be telling their kids and grandkids about their childhood shopping experiences, and “we went to the basement (or spare bedroom, or kitchen) and pushed buttons on a keyboard” won’t sound very romantic. The descendants might be amazed that keyboards were required in the old days, but the tale won’t stir any longings for bygone Christmases.Oldtimers who date back to the days before the malls ruined shopping can remember Christmases with decorated lamp posts; bells, greenery and lights strung across the streets; happily honking horns; stores whose doors were continually rotating and slapping people in and out; people with red noses and armed filled with packages strolling down the sidewalk together and smiling in the wind, rain or snow; and the annoyance of glasses that fogged up every time we stepped outside to try a different store.By comparison, Internet shopping offers all the excitement of typing your last will and testament. That’s why parents who care about their children’s memories need to spice it up a bit. Let’s say our child is sitting at the computer, perusing the offerings at amazondotjunk. What can you do to make the Christmas shopping experience more memorable?First, decorate the computer room to give it that feeling of holiday cheer. Prop up a tree next to the printer, sit Santa on the monitor, and find a nook by the scanner for a Nativity scene. Perhaps they make a Christmas mouse shaped like baby Jesus. When this is done, the Internet shopper will sit down in the proper frame of mind.Although better, the environment is still sterile due to the lack of Christmas weather in the room. Shopping in windless, 72 degree conditions is what will eventually kill the malls -- we can now do that at home. So open a few windows to let the elements in, or bring down those summer fans from the attic and aim them toward the computer. There’s nothing like shopping in a blustery breeze.It’s now time to simulate the weather in your geographic location. For the Northwest, drag the hose into the house, twist the nozzle to mist, and point it in front of the fan or open window. A chilling, wind-blown rain will drift toward the computer user, guaranteeing some great shopping memories. If you live in the mountains or plains, substitute ice crystals scraped off frozen food packages for the water. The young computer user will become wet and chilled to the bone, and have to quit shopping due to frostbitten fingers. This way, he or she will always remember their Christmas shopping experiences, even if it was on the Internet."

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