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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

How Does MS Affect Your Holiday Shopping?

By November 30, 2012

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I've got a pile of cardboard boxes piled in the corner of my bedroom as a result of my determination to get my holiday shopping out of the way. I spent an afternoon on the Internet and managed to put a big dent in my list.

While I will admit that I am happy to have some of this task completed, it is a little sad to me how far removed this is from the vision of personally selecting unique gifts for the special people in my life, holding them in my hand and picturing how thrilled the recipient will be when they receive it. While I never enjoyed shopping, per se, I did like visiting some particular stores where the staff knew me and could give me personal assistance with some of my more challenging gift queries. The Internet really removes the personal touch from the whole shopping experience.

However, I recognize that shopping online also removes the MS-related fatigue and logistical challenges from the shopping equation, as well. For that, I am grateful. I guess I will continue to plow through my list online, happy to be avoiding crowds and the resulting need to take an hour-long nap after each outing.

What about you? Do you primarily do your holiday shopping online or do you still hit the stores? Share your tips for getting holiday shopping done in the comments section below.

November 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm
(1) Widawn says:

About 75% done online, more and more every year. It really is a no brainer but I also “miss” the shopping, the hustle and bustle of crowds, the bell ringers, the smiles from strangers – so I still try to do a little in person, but Amazon is my best friend, the Fed Ex drivers and UPS stop almost daily, and I shop and I sit and I sit and I shop – hope Christmas day gets here soon, one problem with internet shopping is it is soooooo easy and always open!

December 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm
(2) Anna says:

Yes, shopping online has been a Godsent. Amazon is also a true blessing,they don;t know how much they are helping those of us with MS.
I went to mall once last week and all my body is saying is we need to go home. So much walking and God forbid I forget something (which I usually do)at the other end of mall. Mall is 5 mins away, but I go maybe 4x a year.
I think it is a combination of walking/noise/crowds/and just too much stuff.
I come home after 2 hours exhausted and then have to figure out dinner.
Thank you Julie for all the info you give us,, it helps so much to see your
topics and then the comments. It is so reassuring and helpful.

December 6, 2012 at 8:33 am
(3) sacs hermes says:

, the bell ringers, the smiles from strangers so I still try to do a little in person, but Amazon is my best friend, the Fed Ex drivers and UPS stop almost daily

December 12, 2012 at 11:29 am
(4) Bhorsoft says:

Between work and my mobility issues I just don’t have time nor the energy to go to a store and battle the holiday crowds. Like you, I use Amazon and other online retailers to get gifts for friends and family. It also shave me having to ship gifts to folks who are far away from me – no trips to the post office or a shipping store. For some of my nieces and nephews who I may see once a year I just send cash. They are happy with it because they can pool it with what they have and get what they want. I used to like cash as a kid from distant relatives.

For that special gift for my spouse I will spend some time on Etsy. It’s not quite as nice as a store, but I can find unique items from a variety of small retailers. It feels a bit more personal than Amazon and the like, and I do get to enjoy the search for something a bit different.

December 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm
(5) Laura C. says:

I do 95% online.

December 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm
(6) Karin says:

I am not just doing my Christmas shopping on line, but also get most of the things I need over the Internet. I live in a rural community and just to get into town is a 27 mile drive one way and forget about walking the mall. The only shopping I still do in person is my groceries and local errands. It is very convenient to be able to have price comparison and to find products without “running” all over town. Having mobility issues the word running is a big joke around my house.

December 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm
(7) janice phillips says:

now there is no ” i’ll check around, and if that is a good price or i don’t find a better one, i’ll come back” i just buy things when i see them and that way, when i need them, like at Christmas i usually have what i need. i also order some things from the internet, as my kids are in the navy (away) the mailing is worth it.

December 13, 2012 at 7:58 am
(8) Tracy says:

I so miss the shopping for Christmas gifts or any gifts for that matter. I too have become an online shopper. Approximately 75% and then I strategically plan my trips to malls or mass market stores. It is horrible. I love seeing all the hustle bustle and the decorations. This is just one more thing MS has robbed me of. Going to the mall and just walking around used to be a fun thing for me – now it is a hinderance

December 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm
(9) Kimberly in NV says:

One word: Amazon! I’ve never liked crowds, and with MS it’s worse. I enjoy sitting comfortably at home and looking online. It’s easy to find what you want, and often with free shipping if you use promo codes. I pay a little extra for an Amazon Prime membership, and it’s been so worth it. Malls have noise and bright lights and no room to move. Ugh.

December 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm
(10) Mary-Ellen says:

Julie, thanks once again for your dedication to your website as it always offers a place for me to come and be more connected to others with MS and how you handle a variety of situations with your MS is so helpful.
This Christmas I did my shopping in Oct. and Nov. especially on a day when I was operating on full brain power. So, I got the job done when I was on a roll… When no one is around, I can spend a whole day in bed, I’ve cancelled four doctor appts because I can’t be bothered to go. I’m staying in the house more. Going out actually does not make me feel better. I can see myself isolating, but have forced myself to go out and then I just feel like I have nothing to say to others, I do have cognition problems and I think I have conversations with others in my mind, but the words never reach my mouth. ., but look normal, if I decide to be quiet and not talk. Does this make sense? My words get stuck in my head and by the time I get the words out, they either don’t sound like what I really wanted to say, or I’m late into a conversation, then feel stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel gratefull for so much, feel love and receive love, so many things in my life to be thankful. I just miss the me … I used to be!

The cognitive issues are so hard to describe to myself and certainly to others. I even had a member of my MS group tell me recently that when I became a member she didn’t believe that I had MS and she wondered why I even joined. She has no cognitive problems, all physical problems and cannot walk any longer. So, even those with MS don’t always understand what they cannot see with their own eyes.

Hope you and everyone reading, have a blessed Christmas and I send love into every corner of your heart, so you will have more to give away to others!

Thank you Julie, very much.

December 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm
(11) Marsha Eisenmann says:

Well, I finally hit the wall! This year I didn’t put all the Christmas decorations out. My house cleaner and her 2 teenaged children did all of it for me. Fatigue!! Stress!! And I just plain old didn’t feel like all the mess around me. I don’t feel up to going shopping. So, as my husband says, “go online”! So I have. As much as I would love going to the stores and picking out the perfect gifts, I realize I just can’t do it.

December 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm
(12) Isabella says:

Well, I’m gonna sound different than everybody else…I am trying, for as long as I can to have the “MS cannot beat me attitude!” This applies in so many aspects of my life. From work to household chores to errands and yes, even shopping in the mall, I want to be me and remain as normal for as long as I feasibly can! That is not to say that at times during shopping trips I do not feel quite fatigued, weak/spastic in one leg and even a bit dizzy. I do. It depends on the day, on my general well being, on so many things. But I just have the attitude that I will not let this thing beat me! I will be me and my MS will not stop me from the things I enjoy in life (i.e shopping!!) for as long as possible. Good luck to everyone and happy holidays!

December 27, 2012 at 12:21 am
(13) Stacy H says:

2 day post Christmas madness/stress.

Amazon helped me with about 90% of my shopping. Just the thought of a mall with the “parking space hunt” and then ALL of the people and lines… well, enough said.

With my cognitive issues — walking into a store with SO MUCH STUFF sends me into a mind-numbing experience. I cannot make decisions. Flourescent lighting becomes blinding… all sounds are magnified. 2 years ago I wandered aimlessly through a Home Goods store at Christmas-time for more than 2 HOURS – and HAD NOTHING IN MY CART!!! And of course, after being on my feet for that long always leaves me hanging on for dear life. I used to love getting out shopping…but I’m over it!

Thank you Julie for all of your insight & helpful information. I can relate with you on so many of the symptoms you experience – especially the cognitive ones. God bless you!

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