When the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived in Alberta, it left us in a state of confusion. We counted down the days, echoing the same sentiments from a century ago — that this will all be over by Christmas. But Christmas is here, along with the ever-present reality of masks, hand sanitizers and long store lines. The need to squeeze as much shopping as you can out of one trip is now only exacerbated by provincial COVID-19 regulations that will limit retail outlets’ capacity to 25 per cent of fire code.
We’re asked to have smaller, family-only gatherings instead of the large parties and fanfare that usually accompany the season of giving. And while we may be reverting back to the tradition of spending holidays with only our closest family, ’tis still the season. But our shopping habits have to change and adapt to the circumstances at hand.
Gone are the days of window shopping, that simple act of browsing to waste time. Gone is the wonderful feeling of impulse buying. Before, you could enter store after store, touch clothes, try testers, get free samples. If something caught your eye, you would buy it without a second thought — sometimes for a friend, but most of the time for yourself. Now, malls are bound by restrictions and limited stock options.
Instead, you should now plan to finish your shopping in one day. Make a list and check it twice for availability.
You know the saying, “The early bird gets the worm?” Well, the early shopper skips all the lines. Stores this year have limited capacity, which means you will have to endure waiting in line. Write out a list of what you want to buy, for whom and from where.
Buying online is an expected norm but it matters when you order it. There is an abundance of gift ideas in Edmonton’s local scene. From bath bombs to shoes, Edmontonians have a wide range of entrepreneurial talent. So check out your local community stores before doing your shopping with the major international online retailers.
Alberta’s move back to Step 1 did not include the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, Ontario shut its schools as COVID numbers increase.