Guys and holiday shopping….what could possibly go wrong? Nothing much, except for the fact that men are notorious for waiting until the absolute, eleventh-hour, last minute to shop. If you ARE this guy or you know someone like him, this blog’s for you.
Let’s start with the basics. Men are genetically wired to procrastinate, especially about shopping. Why? Recent, ground-breaking research and mapping of the human genome shows — well, actually this genetic research has shown nothing about men and shopping. We just dropped that scientific reference in to make this argument seem more credible.
Basically, this tendency to wait until the last minute for shopping for any special occasion – Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays, anniversaries – comes down to the fact that most guys just don’t see the need to shop early. They have other things they would rather be doing than shopping, and the media onslaught of “you better be shopping or you’re gonna be a failure” promulgated by the retailer cabal does not permeate the frontal lobes of the male brain. (That’s just another scientific reference to show you how much we’ve researched this topic!)
The Game Changer
So, what’s a wife or significant other to do about this character flaw? How can men be encouraged to break the painful cycle of waiting until December 24th at 6 p.m. to begin shopping? First, (and this is very important) never use logic. These are guys, right? Logic rolls off their back like rain off a mallard. No, the only way to help the men in your life to wake up, smell the eggnog and start shopping earlier is to show them a shiny object – some gadget – that allows them to play.
That object is a smartphone or tablet and like the Internet, it will change everything. Why? It enables shopping without the hassle of, you know, shopping! Here’s a new mantra for every guy and the women in his life – Go Mobile!
In order to ensure this strategy works, it is important for you – the experienced shopper in the relationship – to offer a roadmap for your guy’s shopping adventure. As a public service, and in the spirit of the season, we offer the following ways a man can shop without feeling like he’s shopping.
Social Media is Not Just a Time-Waster
Have you ever wondered why billions of otherwise sane people spend hours each week posting random and often embarrassing pictures and thoughts on Facebook and Twitter? The answer is simple. These sites are packed with digital gossip and this is addictive. Because of their pervasiveness, they also offer a way for men to easily use that shiny object – see smartphone above – to complete the holiday shopping task. Plus, this can be done in the comfort of his couch, while watching the UL, LSU or Saints game.
Most guys don’t know about Pinterest, but this social site is a goldmine for the accidental shopper. By simply going online to the Pinterest site of the women in his life, Mr. I-Wait-til-the-Last-Minute can find more ideas than he has money. It’s as if the founders of Pinterest knew that someday, guys would come troll the sites of their significant others and their teenage daughters and find the perfect holiday gift.
Guys check out the pins on Pinterest. There’s your perfect gift.
Instagram, while not as popular and well-known as other social media, is also a great place to get gift ideas. Guys, more than likely, the women in your life have some favorite specialty retailers and styles on Instagram.
Don’t forget the 800-pound gorilla of social media – Facebook. Guys can check the Facebook pages of their wives, girlfriends, daughters or granddaughters and find some great ideas for a holiday gift. This social network also works just as well for the ladies shopping for the gents.
While Amazon is not exactly a social medium, it is a great place to get ideas and shop for the holidays. If any of your family or friends have a wish list on Amazon: Bingo! With a brief scan of this list and a few keystrokes on the smartphone or tablet, a guy can have the shopping done before the third quarter starts.
When Black Friday Comes
Maybe you’ve noticed that Black Friday has morphed into Black Thursday/Friday. In an effort to generate more sales, many big box retailers have opted to battle the tryptophan daze and open up for business on Thanksgiving Day. This means the hordes of shoppers will cluster for two days, rather than one. Oh, the horror!
This unfortunate situation will not affect those savvy shoppers – men or women – with a mobile device and a strong WiFi signal. Many retailers are planning “doorbuster deals” without the requirement of busting any doors. Online Black Friday deals will be very much in evidence this year, allowing the couch potato of either gender to let his/her fingers do the buying.
Hopefully, these suggestions have helped everyone relax a little about the hand-to-hand combat/shopping experience that the holiday season has become. You have our permission to take a deep breath, get out and play football with the kids, click on one of the many football games, chill in the deer blind or wet a line from the fishing boat and don’t worry about shopping. With your trusty smartphone and overnight delivery, there’s plenty of time.
Photos: Flickr Creative Commons