I’m generally not a big fan of the consumerism during the holidays. More specifically, I hate going out into the stores during what is surely the busiest time of the year. The retailers help me during this time, however. They stay open late to maximize their profits but most shoppers either don’t think of taking advantage of the extended hours, or they don’t know about the extended hours.

Take tonight, for example. I needed some books and groceries. Chapters was open until 10:00 p.m. and Loblaws was open until 11:00 p.m. because of the holidays. I left my place at 9:00 p.m. and despite taking my time and wandering around the stores at my leisure, I was home an hour later and some $120 poorer. Score!

One great thing about shopping for others is I feel no guilt about spending the money. I left $82 at the Chapters store, and none of what I bought is for me. What I bought was for people dear to me so what is there to feel bad about? I wouldn’t feel good about spending more than I have, but I didn’t do that. It’s all good.

I would not have spent anything close to $82 on myself. I did see books that I wanted, but I left them there. I will get Juggler of Worlds, by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner after Christmas. I simply cannot resist novels set in Niven’s Known Space, but this small weakness will not threaten my plans to pay my debts. When the new year rolls around, I’ll order the book from Amazon.ca and instead of paying the $27.95 cover price, I’ll save a lot even if I have to pay shipping in addition to the $17.61 they’re asking for the book.