I spent 2 hours last night sitting on my living room floor, struggling with rolls of brightly colored Christmas paper and ribbons that had Ho Ho Ho printed in sparkly lettering and yards worth of scotch tape. All the while, my house-mate cackled at me from her comfortable seat on the sofa.

I told her that she could be helpful and rescue me from having to wrap the rest of my presents for family and friends all alone, but she rolled her eyes and reminded me that she had been smart enough to buy all her presents pre-wrapped.

I don’t know why I have to learn this lesson every single year. I don’t like wrapping presents, so why don’t I shop at the stores that do it for me? Is it worth the extra 3 or so dollars to have someone else struggle with a metric ton of ribbon and sticky to/from labels?

Yes!

She opted to shop online this year, she only shopped at places that offered optional gift wrapping. And she said it was the most stress free Christmas shopping season she’d ever been through.

There was one exception. While walking past a store (following a movie), she decided to stop and buy shoes for her brother. The hitch, of course, no gift wrapping and she’d have to ship it herself. But the cashier mentioned that if she ordered online they would wrap it for her. Pleased at the information, she asked to change her order. They then walked three feet over to a shopping kiosk inside the store and placed her order online. This time with optional gift wrapping and free shipping.

That’s service.

Next year, I’ll be more mindful of where I shop, and maybe next year I’ll be the one sitting on the couch cackling.

‘Chelle Parmele

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