As I hustle and bustle through the holiday season, listing out the gifts I need for everyone I love in a Google doc, and purchasing 90% of it on Amazon, who just alerted me that said item just went on sale, I can’t help but think of my mom.
She did this, too. The list-making and card-writing and candy-making and bread-baking and shopping. But she did it all manually! I cant even imagine handwriting a list and keeping track of it, for starters. Someone would have seen it by now and the 7 year old would have no-doubt recited it at the kitchen table for all to hear.
But beyond the list, she had to go to stores. Real-life stores. When on EARTH did my mom find time to drive to stores, wait in lines and find all the things we needed in our sizes on all those messy racks? I can barely find time to put it all in my virtual cart and “Buy with one-click”. I do one actual store run for the holidays on Thanksgiving night because it brings me joy, and reminds me of Black Friday shopping with my mom and grandma. I get whatever I can without standing outside in the cold, with the comfort of knowing whatever I don’t find in-store I can snag online when I get home for the same price.
I come home from my kid-free, coffee-laden, pie-stuffed adventure at the best place on Earth, put on new slippers I no doubt picked up for myself because I deserve it for going inside an actual store with lots of other *gasp* people in it, and I load up my virtual carts with the rest of the stuff on my list, conveniently accessible (and child-proofed) from my phone or my computer, wherever I am.
Not to mention, 90% of the stuff gets delivered in right-sized boxes to my front porch. Do you know how many hours I spent in my childhood helping my grandma find boxes from her decades-built stash to fit each gift? Now the gifts come practically wrapped to your doorstep! Sure, you have to wrap them in pretty paper but they are boxed and taped shut, ready for you to Scotch-tape it up.
This is the life, mamas! They even discourage homemade treats in schools these days!! No pressure, Betty, just bake the things that bring you joy and buy packaged junk the kids will go crazy for for all the holiday parties.
I am thankful to be a mom of the Amazon era. I love to hear the thud of packages hitting my porch and the *ding* of shipping confirmation emails in my hand. I am so grateful for the modern-day conveniences that mean I can spend less time in stores, and more time with my kids.
And most of all, I’m grateful to my mom who was equally sleep- and hot coffee-deprived yet still managed to pull of the best manual Christmases ever.
(You too, dad, for the candy-making part. But let’s be real about the rest!)
Merry Christmas, mamas! Happy one-click shipping.
Originally published on the author's blog, Please Bring Coffee, where she shares humble ramblings about surviving parenthood on laughter and luke-warm coffee.