Why We Gave Up Amazon for Christmas (and Life)

The most controversial thing I can tell any mom in 2020 is “I don’t use Amazon.”

We moms all experienced the terror that an international pandemic can do to our shopping trends. Not only was it more dangerous to visit the grocery store, but we also experienced never-before-seen outages of formula, diapers, paper towels, and Clorox wipes. What a Godsend it was to simply log onto Amazon.com and shop for essentials in less than five minutes. And, of course, this doesn’t even begin to cover Amazon’s popularity pre-pandemic times, the ease not only attractive to moms. More and more people are choosing to host their baby and wedding registries are on Amazon. In addition, Amazon purchases account for a whopping 35% of Christmas sales. Thirty-five percent! It is the dominator in the retail market, one that is packaged with simplicity and convenience. Why in the Lord’s name would a mom choose to make her life more difficult?

Cardboard boxes, work conditions, and monopolies, oh my!

The short answer is environmental and social guilt. When my husband first told me the poor conditions Amazon workers worked in, I yelled at him: “No! I don’t want to know. Let me be naïve!” You see, I have been down this road before, and he knew it. He soberly told me I was living in denial if I didn’t realize that Amazon was the Wal-Mart of online shopping. I have stopped shopping at Wal-Mart for years after learning how their employees were treated. Plus it was never a satisfying experience shopping at Wal-Mart. It was slightly harder to admit this same fate at Amazon. After all, since I didn’t see workers and their conditions with my own eyes, it was much easier not to realize or think about who was behind the scenes making sure I received my orders in two days.

Speaking of deliveries, my husband also made sure to inform me of the waste problem that millions of Amazon boxes have created. Since so many people are using Amazon for almost every shopping needed, the boxes have just multiplied like bunnies in our compost piles. As you can imagine, this has not been good for our environment, and may even prove harmful.

Discover pick-up convenience

I know the last thing you need is another errand. But consider this. Instead of ordering your much-needed diapers/wipes/toilet paper/toiletries from Amazon, order a curbside pick-up order from a shop in town. My personal favorite is Target. It’s so easy to order on their app, and then they will have it ready for pick-up service in less than four hours. For grocery shopping, many stores offer this benefit for free such as Super 1 Foods or Wal-Mart.

Truly buy local and help our local economy

Post COVID-19 shut down, it’s obvious our mom and pop shops need our hard-earned dollars more than ever. One of the most devastating things to me about the Amazon shopping craze is so many local businesses have closed since they cannot keep up with the competitive nature this retail giant delivers. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve turned to local stores, such as popular favorites Caroline & Company and the Pink Paisley to purchase all of my gifts for family and friends. With online ordering, free gift wrapping services, and curbside pick-up, it has been this momma’s dream. If it feels that I’m asking too much from you, start small. Commit to buying a few gifts locally this year, and build on it. You may not believe me, but I hardly miss Amazon.

My break-up with Amazon wasn’t immediate. 

In fact, I resisted as much as I could at first. But slowly, I would go out of my way to not use the company just for this one time. Try committing to buying the next birthday gift locally. Maybe choose to do a pick-up order for diapers at Target. I realize for many, any of the reasons I outlined is not adequate enough to ditch the retail giant. But if you feel so inclined to start the process, I am confident you won’t regret cutting the cord. 

Katie Templet
A kid at heart, Katie loves all things writing, Harry Potter and musicals. At any moment, she is down for either a cup of coffee or margarita. Her passions are building and improving her community of Lafayette, where she was born and raised, and teaching her one daughter to have a British accent. (Not so successful at that last part yet). She spends her day as a credit union storyteller, believing that building strong personal finance habits can be the secret to a fulfilled life. She also contributes to the local finance and community-centric blog, the Meri-tea Community.

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