When I got home today, I could tell we had an alternate UPS driver. The delivery was early and packages were stacked on the opposite side of the porch from normal. I'm sure the truck was packed, and the fewer steps they had to take, the sooner they would be back on the road delivering more joy.
I expect the same scene tomorrow.
This year we did most of our Christmas shopping online. Free shipping was an added bonus. We could even direct ship to those we won't be seeing over the holidays. Rachael is still rehabilitating her knee and we didn't really want to venture out with four kids in tow (no doubt, two of them would be ready for naps).
I did however make it the mall Friday night after officiating. I can be a temperamental shopper. I hope that an employee offers to help, otherwise it may be a short trip through their store. However, they shouldn't take offense to my standard response: 'I'll know it when I see it....'. When it comes to shopping, I shop the mannequins and displays.
Honestly, I know it when I see it.
So, how does shopping relate to farm operations? Increasingly more and more of everything we need is coming through online purchases. From office supplies to log chains to shop supplies and tools, to equipment parts, and beyond, it is all available online.
It's not that I don't want to shop and support local, but my success in town is often limited. Too many times, the item is special order, they 'just sold the last one,' or it just isn't a good price. So, I just elect to pull up the websites and order it. I can price shop while I'm at it. With all the fulfillment centers, many times shipment arrives the next day. Sometimes you have to be careful though -- some websites are just a middleman, often those are distinguished by shipping lag.
Anyway, it doesn't matter how you do your shopping. With all the buying, wrapping, family dinners, and farm planning crunched in the end of the year, it's far too easy to be sidetracked from true meaning of Christmas. So I invite you to pull out the Christ story tomorrow, read it, and take a few minutes to soak it in. We are truly blessed.