OPINION: Christmas shopping, scam plagues students’ wallets

CN/Ivana Amaral

By Samantha Iniguez (J-101 Staff Writer)

Christmas shopping is the biggest scam in the history of all scams. I get a headache even thinking about it. It is scientifically proven that Christmas music causes stress.

After Thanksgiving, the radio is putting us all in a constant state of fight or flight, which some often literally do fly to visit out-of-state family.

They are forgetting our instinct to flee from stress, not buy an expensive plane ticket to fly directly toward it. All the time spent claiming to be spreading Christmas Spirit is wasted.

What stresses me out the most is the amount of money that needs to be spent, money that I don’t even have.

To avoid spending too much money, I look for deals, but even the deals are stressful. I watch like a Christmas vulture for the best sales.

Once a unicorn sale seems to come my way, I watch it and I wonder for hours before finally deciding to order or not to order. Deciding whether or not to act on a Christmas deal or not is worse than gambling.

You can buy all your presents today thinking you’re getting the best deals, but the next day brings forth an even better deal.

Being put in this situation many times before, the decision to make every single purchase stresses me out. A store dresses up a sale as a blessing and hours later it turns out to be the devil in disguise. I often find myself wondering if I should just cancel the whole order! Maybe order it again just to get this better deal?

You might think I’m overreacting, or that the $20 dollars are already gone-that I should just suck it up and move on.

Keep in mind I’m a broke college student with about 15 more gifts to buy.

That $20 could be another gift or two if I find a good enough deal. Most people would just be happy to have gotten a deal, but not me. I want the BEST deal. I don’t have the type of money to settle for a 10 percent off deal, but I also don’t have the type of money to be risking any deal at all.

What if 10 percent is the only deal the brand offers this Christmas season and I lost it all while waiting for the next best thing?

Every Christmas I try to go the cheap way: just buy gifts for my favorite people or my closest family members because that’s the way my family works. I try but I soon find myself in a pool of guilt and once I buy one of them a present, I must buy all of them a present.

Not to mention the second gifts I often buy after comparing each gift to each other in my head.

A meeting with my subconscious that usually goes something like this: “I bought this for Johnny and this for Vanessa, but oh my god, Johnny’s gift is clearly better. What if Vanessa feels like she’s my least favorite in the family because her gift seems to be the less extravagant one?”

Most people like to say “It’s the thought that counts.” Nonsense, but keep it real. People prefer a cool gift. They don’t care how hard you thought of getting them a gift, especially if they don’t really get one.

This is usually the type of situation that leads me into buying people little extra gifts just to make up for the inferiority of their first gift, which of course, I made up in my own head. My mom is a whole different struggle during Christmas.

First, she is the most expensive woman I have ever met. She knows what she wants and she expects to get it.

She has a specific taste so you can’t just guess what she wants because she might hate it and give you this kind of what-the-hell? expression. Or you know, she might love it.

It’s just too much of a risk to take, so I always just find it safer to ask her what she wants.

I then try to convince myself that I’ve bought her enough expensive gifts, but she’s my mom and can I really put a price on her happiness. After all, I literally owe her my life.

Of course, I find that one gift is not enough for the woman that is responsible for my entire existence, so I get her what I like to call a bonus gift.

Yes, she might not like it, but at this point, it does not matter because she already got what she wanted.

The worst thing of all must be the shipping and taxes added at the end of an order unless you shop in person, which is usually recommended I don’t have the time or money for a car. Maybe I would if I didn’t buy anyone gifts, so I stick to ordering online.

I love having five gifts in my basket and seeing a nice low price ,forgetting the fact that more is going to be added once I’m done inputting my information.

Happy with the deal,  I come to the complete order page and find myself spending an extra $30 dollars for shipping and taxes and I realize it was too good to be true.

There is no better way to say “ I love you, Merry Christmas” than to risk having a stress-induced heartache over Christmas presents for family.

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