Holiday Shopping as Storytelling Fodder

This weekend, the last before Christmas, is bound to be a big one for holiday shopping. My newspaper said the crowds will be “outrageous,” which I find a little hard to swallow given the economy.

The blogger at Thoughts While Waiting suggests that holiday shopping provides an opportunity for storytelling.

Just yesterday, Randall told me the story of looking for gift-wrap bins at a home-improvement big box and finding only a couple of damaged ones. Then he noticed a bunch more on a shelf too high even for my 6’4″ husband. A sales associate happened by but was helping another customer. The associate sent the other customer to the plumbing aisle to wait for him and then helped Randall get the bins down. Happy ending.

Even online shopping results in stories. Yesterday I decided to check the status of a $170 order at a book retailer and was horrified to discover that the order was not scheduled to ship till Epiphany — Jan. 6! I had to cancel the order and go to two other retailers to order the same stuff. This story will have a happy ending when my packages arrive!

Here are some shopping story prompts suggested by The blogger at Thoughts While Waiting:


  • “What are you going to get?”
  • “Where are you going to get it?”
  • “When are you going to get it?”
  • “Why are you getting that?”
  • “How are you going to get it home?”
  • “Who are you going with?”

And After…

  • “What did you get?”
  • “Where did you get it?”
  • “When did you get it?”
  • “Why did you get that?”
  • “How did you get it home?”
  • “Who did you go with?”