Corrugated cardboard packages, tied up with string

UPS delivered my final package this morning. I did almost all of my shopping online this year, including stocking stuffers. I have only been in one store in the past month, and it doesn’t count because it was Target and it was mostly because I only had the baby with me and I wanted a latte.

We have it so easy — to be raising small children in the age of indoor plumbing, antibiotics, and Internet shopping. WITH FREE TWO-DAY SHIPPING!

I’ve written about this before:

“Shopping this year was easy because of THE INTERNET. I bought every single gift online, and only paid for shipping twice. Every time I clicked “checkout” I thought of people who raised babies before the Internet and had to shop in stores. That they had to drive to. And park their car. And then unload their kids, their bags, and before walking into the store they had to lock the car by PUTTING A KEY IN THE DOOR AND TURNING IT. I can’t think of a more inconvenient way to lock a vehicle.”

The other day our doorbell rang, and when I went to answer it, all three kids ran out to the porch with me. By the time I opened the door, the delivery woman was practically back to her truck, and she waved and shouted, “Amazon!”

“Thank you!” I replied. Then she paused and looked at her little handheld scanner, then back up at me.

“Are you expecting another one?” she asked.

Very, very aware of my six-week postpartum belly, I smiled as kindly as I could and responded, “I actually just had another one!”

She looked confused, and looked at her scanner again, and then at me. “No, I mean…another box. Are you expecting another delivery today?”

David has never been completely sold on the idea of Santa. Ever since he could speak in sentences, he’s asked us with squinted, suspicious eyes, if Santa is real.

We hedge, we always hedge — walking a fine line between letting him believe in a very fun childhood tradition, not wanting to lie to our kids, and placing importance on the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

But this year when he asks, I get a faraway dreamy look thinking of all the packages that have shown up on my doorstep. There are gifts under my tree and I haven’t had to put my newborn in the van and drive to the mall! Not even once! So who am I to question the existence of Christmas magic?



  1. Gayle Ann December 23, 2017

    Amazon is a gift from God. I, personally, rate it up there with the social acceptance of Clark sandals, denim skirts, and no panty hose as summer attire, the parting of the Red Sea, ducks in your swimming pool, and manna, not necessarily, of course, in that particular order.

    I haven’t been to Whole Foods since they acquired it. I’m waiting to see how they handle grocery delivery. My grandmother always lamented the advent of chain markets who didn’t deliver. With increased prosperity, and cars, there was no reason why women couldn’t go to the store. Now, thanks to all the increases in our lives, and decreases in time, we are back to grocery delivery. And, independent bookstores, farmer’s markets, local merchants are in vogue. I’m living my grandmother’s life.

    I did read that they are going to enter the pharmaceutical market. I don’t anticipate dropping my independent pharmacist who is about a half a mile away, but I am waiting to see how the big players in the field react.

    My only complaint with Amazon is that it can be difficult to browse, if you are not quite sure what you want, and the sizing. I was looking at modest one piece swimsuits. My idea of modest is definitely not the idea of Amazon’s modest, which, after looking at the swimsuits, is quite disturbing. And, in what universe is a 16 a 5XL? A 5XL!!!!!!!! I sent a suggestion asking them to standardized the sizes to American sizes. I was still spinning from a shoe size conversion to 38. I look in the mirror, and see the Staypuff Marshmallow Man, or, I suppose, woman. Amazon is not the place to shop for clothes when you are having a bad day, or have sampled too many Christmas cookies.

    I hope you all have a lovely holiday.

    • amandakrieger December 24, 2017

      I actually read a whole article recently (somewhere like the New Yorker..) saying exactly what you are — that delivery isn’t a new idea but an old one! (speaking of living my grandmother’s advice, any time i mention that my friends are into things like canning my mother and grandmother roll their eyes, why would we put ourselves through such torture!?!?!)

      I also remember getting prescriptions in the mail (in the ’80s). Wonder if this will be a similar service.

      As for sizing, I wonder if that’s because Amazon uses a myriad of independent merchants? I shop at ThredUp a lot and I like it because it’s second hand, but brands I’m familiar with so I can be confident on sizing…

      • Gayle Ann December 25, 2017

        I think the sizing is because a lot of the merchants are based in China. I did a suggestion, asking that all clothes merchants be required to match their items to standard US sizing, rather than each merchant having their own sizing, with a conversion chart. If we can make up sizing, I am a size zero. and, I’d work backward. My size 4 sister would have a meltdown if she were a size 34. She was a 0 until children, and laments at every opportunity how children ruined her body, and she will never be think again. Makes me want to replace the decorative buttons on her bikini with lead ones.

        I will say last year, I purchased four swim suits, two black, two navy for $8.50-$12 each, and they were chlorine resistant. I mostly wore the navy ones, and I’m in the water every day. I was looking in March, and did a low to high cost sort. The legs did stretchout, but, swimsuit elastic is cheap at JoAnne’s, and it isn’t hard to replace the elastic. The suits themselves held up well. I’ll be wearing them again this coming year. For $8.50, I had figured a one summer deal, or even half a summer. I was pleasantly surprised. And, I was covered. My grandmother’s dressing advice was always “When a man meets you, the first question on his mind should NOT be ‘I wonder how much she charges.'” My own thought is just because I have it, doesn’t mean the world has to see it, or wants to see it. The suits I got were from Maxine on Amazon. I ordered several sizes, and the prices were Prime, so I knew I could return them. But, given the low cost, I kept a few, as I didn’t see that much difference between some of the sizes, and, again, for $8.50, I didn’t have high expectations.

        Also,another Amazon tip, if you are looking for clothes that are nice, but could not double as the costume for Playboy spreads, do some googling, and find the names of the various companies whose target audience is the conservative Jewish community. I love denim skirts and golf shirts with Keds or Clark sandals in the summer. But, a denim skirt of 19 inches isn’t even appropriate, when scaled, for Barbie. Most of them do have Amazon storefronts. The prices are reasonable, and the skirts hit the top of my knee, or mid knee. The blouses are nice, tailored, classic pieces, and they aren’t see through. There are some things only God and my husband should know. I think the last skirt I purchased was a classic denim skirt, and it was $19 with Prime. It fits great.

        I like to can and freeze. My grandmother loved doing it, and my mother hated it. But, it has nothing to do with cost as much as it has to do with quality. And, it is cheaper to purchase it at the grocery if you wait for sales, and really shop well. I just think it is tastes better. And, I like experimenting, and developing my own recipes. And, nothing beats home canned pickles. Nothing. But, I also love gardening. I so enjoy planting things, and watching them grow. It is a measurable outcome of my time. I also enjoy baking. The inventor of the Kitchen Aid stand mixer deserves a Nobel Prize, and come to think of it, a Kitchen Aid should be on the list of gifts from God too. I’d also point out that even canning and freezing has come a long way since Grandma’s time. She put the fear of God into me concerning the pressure cooker blowing up. And, dishwashers help with sterilizing the jars. Not to mention ziploc and other innovations. So, when they roll their eyes, it isn’t exactly a fair comparison of labor.

        I love old cookbooks, particularly during WWII and the 50’s. Many of those recipes have withstood the test of time, and many are the base recipe for my experimentation.

        michigan State University (I’m a Buckeye), has a project called Feeding America. As cookbooks come out of copyright, they scan ones they think are particularly representative of a specific population. The earliest is 1798, and they have a particularly rich collection of charity books, which are books done by churches and civic groups to raise money. They were most popular from the end of the Civil War to the 1920’s. As churches were formed on race and ethnicity, there are some wonderful gems in those books. And, one can see larger social changes caused by technology, such as refrigerated rail cars, innovations in shipping that allowed South American fruit to be shipped to the US, air freight, and social movements such as women entering the work force in the 1960’s and 70’s, and, during WWII, recipes mindful of rationing. Almost all of them can be adapted to a modern kitchen, and they are a fun activity to do with children, as is most cooking. One is just adding the history lesson.

        Merry Christmas. I hope you don’t have many toys to put together.

  2. Gayle Ann December 26, 2017


    Here is the link to the cookbooks:

    Cookbooks are magical. You can tell ethnicity, geography, weather, religion, social class, technology, and see social changes like the role of women in society. Betty Crocker books go from time intensive recipes in the 50’s to dump in a 9 x 13 pan, bake, and cut into bars. You can see the standardization of measurements, and technology as one goes from “warn oven” to actual temperatures, and ingredients change as transportation methods improved, and new things were introduced.

    I also think that they show the ingenuity and creativity of women, particularly the WWII recipes. Women were challenged to adhere to rationing, while producing nutritious and delicious meals. Early settlers had the same challenges.

    I use food in class all the time. Everyone can relate to it. When you look at older recipes and “traditional” foods, there is always a reason for their use. Yogurt and cheese were a way to preserve milk. Hot spices, seen in high temperature climates, hide the taste of spoiling meat.

    I hope you enjoy the site.


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