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Has shopping changed much over the years?

Over the past few years when it comes to going shopping I have pretty well been relegated to being the official “cart pusher”

Over the past few years when it comes to going shopping I have pretty well been relegated to being the official “cart pusher” and “vehicle packer.” But that’s really not too bad because I can now roll along and have some fun observing all the wild and sometimes wacky habits of the rest of the shopping masses!

Just like so many of you when we were kids, I loved getting sent down to the corner store to pick up a loaf of bread, a quart of milk, or whatever else mom needed really quick. We usually got to pick up a 5 cent treat for our troubles, and it was always so easy to find everything in those friendly little shops. Of course nowadays, especially at this time of the year, our shopping plans have changed quite drastically, just because there are more and much bigger stores, and there are far too many aisles and items to choose from. As a senior I just love browsing through the entire store, especially the food and munchies section, as well as checking out all those new gizmos in the electrical and toy departments.

So what has changed in the fabulous world of shopping over the years?

• Shopping hours have been extended so much now that we should be able to schedule almost everything we have to do each day without getting too stressed. In my humble opinion, I don’t think that any stores should be open before noon on Sundays.

• I know they have fancy signs at the top of each aisle in most stores to tell you where to go to get whatever you need, while some shops even have little flashing digital signs that show you prices of each item, as well as up-to-date savings. As you know they also have those phones where you can find out all about certain products, but for those of us who often get lost or frustrated, I wish they had a phone where we could call and find that special exotic item on our list that most of us didn’t even know existed, but is what makes mom’s apple pie taste so good.

• Unless you are from the old school like our household, most of today’s shopping lists have been entered in advance on our cellphones or somewhere on those other gizmos that forever ring, beep or hum. I actually watched one gentleman standing in front of a packed meat counter, and chatting on his cellphone trying to convince his partner what he should bring home for her to cook for supper. I’m sure that nobody minds the music in malls, and while I’d like to see a little more variety, we all know what we’re going to be humming to from now until Christmas Eve.

Shopping in the electronic era

A lot of the new electronic gizmos and games now on the shelves have a mind of their own, but don’t worry because our grandchildren will soon figure them out. Today kids don’t really get turned on by wind-up toys anymore, because just about everything requires batteries. When we were young the rage was Meccano sets for boys and dolls for girls, but now they live in a world of Lego, very modern Barbie, and a wide variety of newest trend games and gadgets that actually talk back.

I really hope that the outdoor gifts of skates, sleds, skis, and snowshoes will still be found under the tree, and will encourage everyone to go outside and get some exercise. As wise old grandparents I guess we have finally realized that it is not kosher to get the younger ones a set of drums, a trumpet, or clothes, but if all else fails cash or a gift card is the easy way out to keep the family happy.

Whatever the case, please vow to have some fun shopping, stop for a coffee or some fresh air if you get to stressed, and if possible try to buy gifts from the heart that you would like to receive, and then wrap them up and give them to the favourite people in your life.

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping spree this Friday evening, Nov. 23, during Almost Midnight Madness in and around Ponoka, but also take lots of time to have a great week, all of you!