The ex-owner of Albany Books in Tsawwassen told me years ago, “Amazon is taking over the world.” It was a simple statement, but it stuck with me, because it appears she’s right.
In 2019 41 per cent of holiday gifts were bought on line and 37 per cent of Canadian households had Amazon Prime memberships. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those stats double in 2020.
Mall shopping is very depressing these days due to long line ups, limited stock, no deep discounts and COVID-19 worries. Scenes of people weighed down with big parcels have been replaced with delivery trucks flitting around our neighbourhoods like buzzing bees.
Home delivery is super-efficient, but the carbon footprint is huge. We needed a new toilet seat, only available online. It arrived in two days, but wow the packaging was intense. A box within a box with air cushion bubble wrap and layers of foam that couldn’t be recycled, all for something made of plastic.
Delivery service is not without its failures.
A friends’ son asked for a very expensive Lego set for Christmas. She told him she couldn’t afford it but secretly ordered it on Amazon. Last weekend the doorbell rang and her son answered, sitting on the doormat unwrapped with a big sticker on it was his Star Wars Razor Crest Lego kit. Take note Amazon you just ruined a mums Christmas morning surprise.
Local businesses meet the need for safe and efficient shopping during the pandemic. Think before you click, ask yourself can I get that here in Tsawwassen or Ladner?
Buy a gift certificate from your favourite local shop, restaurant or service. Delta is a part of the Support Local BC campaign, which was set up to help small local businesses create cash flow during the pandemic. The holidays are a perfect time to take part.
Head over to the welovedelta website and follow the links to some of your favourite businesses. Gift certificates range from $10 to $100, and they never expire. It’s easy for retailers to join, and it’s free.
Let’s get creative with our holiday gifts, send flowers to friends who you can’t entertain this year, or buy a gift certificate to a favourite local restaurant so that when the pandemic is over you and your friends can use it together.
I’ll support local this year because it might guarantee my favourite businesses will be here to provide great products and services in the future, and that’s the greatest gift of all.
Ingrid Abbott is a freelance writer who will keep the post office busy with lots of Christmas cards because this year spreading joy is prime.