Christmas shopping in the 1980's v today

Finding stuff was so much more difficult. So many products weren’t in stock when you went to look. Of course, there was no real way to check beforehand other than ringing the shop concerned and then you usually got nowhere if it was a bigger store. Ordering was the only way forward once you got there, and that could take weeks or couldn’t be done at all if the thing you wanted was what everybody else wanted. Or take the risk and go to say, Smith’s in Wood Green if the Crouch End branch didn‘t have what you wanted. Then you often had to go to a different shop for different things - the book shop, the toy shop, the big chemist, the electrical shop, the record shop…We had no department store in Crouch End past the early 1970s, and jack of all trades shops like Woolies and Smiths often didn’t have anything remotely book or record specialist for example. Now, you can get it all from one retailer, sitting in your armchair at home. Would I go back? In an instant…
I know I definitely wouldn't, as much as I'd like the high street back. I guess having bad experiences Christmas shopping in the 80's didn't help. Had I lived in the centre of town when I was younger then I'm sure I'd have a different story to tell. When shopping for gifts be it for Christmas, birthdays or just because, you just cannot beat online as far as I'm concerned, but there are times when I'd like to simply be able to walk into town and buy something I fancy there and then. I'd like the best of both worlds but then wouldn't we all! Some of the delivery times nowadays are amazing though. Just yesterday I ordered some extra little stocking filler gifts and they're gonna be delivered before 9pm this evening and I didn't pay for next day delivery either. Looking back to the 80's it wasn't just the disappointment of not being able to find what you wanted, it was the crowds and the queueing I hated. If I had money to spend in the 70's I would've been able to use the local shops and it would've been wonderful, but as always you can't have it all!
When I lived at my parents' home, we travelled to Southampton for Christmas shopping, my home town didn't have much of any speciality shops, those we had were very utilitarian being in the middle of farming country (North Dorset), shoes, food, school uniform and one boutique were our main shops we had three different banks, some solitors and estate agents, our only takeaways fish and chip shops. My first visit to the big round department store in Southampton including my first trip to see Santa, and that made a rod for my parents' back as they had to continue to take me there every Christmas as he was the "real" Father Christmas, and the windows were to my innocent eyes the most magical until I saw Selfridges and Harrods windows. I remember walking as fast as my chubby little legs would carry me and that wasn't very fast at all, my mother and I trailing behind Dad striding ahead, I remember the pavements being frighteningly crowded and worrying that we would lose Dad in the crowds, but he was tall and bald, so long as we could glimpse the shop lights glinting off his pate, we were ok. I'm afraid I order all my shopping, including my memories of Christmas, Greek Snow Cakes, Kourambiedes, that I love so much, from Amazon. I don't have any family nearby, only a couple of friends are anywhere nearby, I can't blame them, I should love to live by the sea.
After only getting back from a nearly 3 week cruise,and due to the awful weather I've only just managed to get the washing all done.
Just got some ironing to do on a few things so I've not managed to do any Christmas shopping yet.
6 great nephews cash so that's ok,nieces are easy hubby is worse. Oh well it's got to be done by the end of November as I refuse to go to our shopping centre after then. Hate shopping hate crowded places.😡
Btw How was your overall experience on the cruise? and where did you go? I am planning my tour in Oahu :)
Btw How was your overall experience on the cruise? and where did you go? I am planning my tour in Oahu :)
We went to the Med Rhodes was cancelled earlier in the year and replaced with Messina we had to miss Gib due to storm Babette.
We've been cruising since 2009 and never done anything else.
I would love to go to Hawaii and Alaska but hubby refuses to fly. He's never liked flying but our last flight in 2008 was awful. We left Manchester for Naples nearly an hour early and arrived an hour late. Due to severe thunderstorms we had to zig zag parts of Europe and all Italy. I don't mind turbulence but at one point it tilted and some overhead lockers opened and stuff flew out. Cabin crew came on announcing mild turbulence,was it heck,so since that flight he has refused to fly ever again.