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In praise of shopping

vintage shopping

Much is written about shopping centres and how the mall is being replaced with a keyboard. In the US, JC Penny and Macy’s are closing stores – key anchors in many shopping centres. As these and other retailers deal with reduced footfall traffic, many blame the rise of online shopping as the reason.Shopping bag

And, while it may be true, I certainly hope we never get to the point where people don’t ever have to leave their homes. Work online, shop online, read online, practice faith online, talk online…. The future seems bleak. And, quite frankly, lonely.

All of this is quite disturbing to me. For centuries, people have obtained their necessities from local shops. Shopping is not just about buying stuff – it is an integral part of our social lives. When we shop, we engage with new people, see old friends and reconnect with the world around us. We shop for entertainment as much as we shop for necessity. Browsing is a social activity; an opportunity to dream about goods we cannot (yet) afford perhaps, or to stay current with trends.

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Floor Decal at the Opening of Nordstrom Calgary

And, yes, while you can peruse merchandise online, it doesn’t get you out of the house to spend a leisurely afternoon, alone or with friends. You can see, touch or try on merchandise. You can’t interact with sales staff or observe life around you.

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I do my share of online shopping. But nothing beats a sunny afternoon strolling along a shopping district, popping in and out of stores.

Go outside and play!

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A Christmas Wish

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As shoppers hurriedly race through the malls today, the rest of us can (somewhat smugly) gaze upon our wrapped presents under the tree with a sense of calm.

And, whilst you are gazing, take a few minutes to reflect on the past year and make your wishes for 2017. It sounds cliché but it’s good to slow down if even for just a few minutes to take stock.

The year that was…

Perhaps this was the year you not only read Marie Kondo’s books on tidying, but actually did something about it.

Maybe your subscription to Vogue has inspired you dress a little snappier each day because you want to.

Or, it’s possible you learned all the fashion rules just in time to discard them and do your own thing.

Whatever steps, big or small, that you took this year, you should be proud. Life is all about growing and changing. Learning something new keeps us young and vibrant.

The year to be…

What do you wish for 2017? For me, it’s peace… inner peace. I would love the sometimes-rocky seas to calm so I can be less stressed, and more active and connected.

For my wonderful husband, I wish for him to have more fun. We both work a lot and our vacations are short. I hope he can find more ways to have fun because life’s too short not to.

For my friends, my wish is for each to be more gentle with themselves. Lord knows there are enough hateful, nasty people in the world – you don’t need to beat yourself up, too. Care, compassion and a little tenderness couldn’t hurt.

What about you?

Merry Christmas and a Stylish Happy New Year!