Sunday, December 05, 2004

Shopping For Meaning

The holidays, according to me, serve a few key purposes:

1. To reconnect with our spiritual/religious inner life
2. To spend time and give & receive gifts with those we love
3. To remember those less fortunate than ourselves

Seems simple, right? Yet the "gift" part seems to have taken over for so many people. The shopping crowds in Seattle this year are impressive, especially as seen from my car and especially when combined with the local pedestrians' obliviousness of traffic, inability to follow the rules of the road, and belief that having the right of way means that no car will ever hit them out of fear of the avalanche of paperwork that would follow. (My new personal favorite pedestrian way of saying, "Hi, how are you doing? I clearly have no will to live!" is the new trend of waiting until I start backing out of a parking space to cross diagonally behind my car so that they suddenly "appear" inches from my bumper. Hoo boy! Good times, good times.)

So where was I? Oh yes, shopping. Now I am not what you would call a professional shopper, but I am an amateur at a level where if there were a Shopping Olympics, the Romanian coach would be calling me up. Given my expertise, I have an important message to share:

You can fulfill Key Purpose #3 while shopping for Key Purpose #2. That's right! No need to feel sullied by commercialism or stressed out by gift giving. In one of those rare win-win situations offered to us in this life, you can help the charity of your choice just by buying the gifts you are already planning to purchase by first going to iGive. (I input my referrer link, so the mere act of clicking there and registering sends one dollar to The Best Little Rabbit Rodent and Ferret House, a fantastic small animal rescue here in Seattle). At no cost (and no spam) to you, for everything you buy online at over 500 stores, a percentage will be donated to the charity of your choice. Just shop through your igive portal (or shop whatever way, but when you decide what to buy, use the igive portal). You can even install a cute little window that will appear automatically on the websites of participating stores so you don't forget.

But what about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, you ask? Sure all this huggy-wuggy business is great for the spirit, but what about my material needs?

As my gift to you, here is my favorite coupon code website. Need free shipping? Want 10% off?Check here before you buy: Flamingo World. Raise your computer mouse and chant... As G-d is my witness, I'll never pay full retail again...

Are you feeling the quasi-spiritual shopper's nirvana? Key Purpose #1 - check! Feeling it while taking care of your gifting needs? Key Purpose #2 - check! Feeling it while getting the big bad corporations to squeeze out a few pennies for the charity of your choice? Key Purpose #3 - check!

You're welcome.


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