Everything for everyone this Xmas

15 December 2020

Everything for everyone this Xmas

Did I tell you how much I hate shopping? This year for Christmas I decided to shop online to avoid the crowds. But after a couple of weekends of aimless web surfing, I found myself in need of inspiration. At the Albany Mega Centre I got both the ideas and the presents I needed for the whole family.  It was so easy and convenient and, even though I hate to admit it, I had fun.

I’ve never been a big fan of shopping, especially at malls. I hate the process of driving around looking for a park, fighting the crowds just to move around, the same old stuff at every mall and the overall noise and visual clutter. I avoid it at all costs. I’ve tried doing the shopping online but I find this somewhat uninspiring. There’s nothing like seeing and feeling something to be certain about buying it. My ex, Hannah, would say I lacked imagination. I suspect she was right.

I have lots of nephews and nieces, and seeing their happy faces opening presents on Christmas day is worth ‘getting over myself’ this one time of year. Like it or not, fighting the crowds to get the Christmas shopping done is a necessary evil.

I live in East Auckland but my friend Sophie told me about this shopping centre in Albany which 'is perfect for grumpy-shoppers like you'. I took the motorway across town, only to find myself queuing up for a carpark in something that looks like every other mall. I ring Sophie to say 'what the hell were you thinking?' and she points out that I’m at the wrong place. The Albany Mega Centre is next door. Relieved, I drive across and immediately notice the difference – not a claustrophobic shopping sweatshop but a big open shopping village.

I’m immediately happy to find an EV charging station down one end of the carpark. Charging my car while shopping – what a bonus. I wander from one end of the carpark to the other, taking in all 25 or so stores along the way. I immediate realise that the options of things to buy for the family are huge. Everything I need is here. For ‘anti-shoppers’ like me, the prospects of being able to get in and out and get everything in one afternoon is instantly appealing.

I consider buying my older sister’s kids a puppy from Animates but quickly realise that I’m just thinking about this because I know it would annoy her. I pop into Rebel Sport and buy a selection of balls, bats and games aligned with the activities of the sporty kids in the family. My siblings and I lack any sporting prowess but the next generation seems to be making up for it in a big way.

Moving down to Warehouse Stationery I fill my shopping basket (yes, a real basket) with canvases, drawing pads, notebooks, colouring pencils and other things for the more academic and creative kids. This is the headspace I occupy so I’m keen to encourage more of this in the next generation. A quick stop at Cotton On, and a couple of T-shirts later, and I have something for all the kids in the family. I finish up down at Look Sharp Store buying lots of little fun extras to help top off each present.

I sit in Hollywood Bakery, enjoying a coffee and muffin, looking up at the shops considering what to buy my siblings. I’ll get my oldest brother something from the Golf Warehouse. Not that I want to encourage more of his dreaded golf stories but I know he’ll appreciate the gift. I’ll get my older sister and her husband something from Adairs to add to their lovely home. For my younger sister, maybe a perfume from Pricewise or Chemist Warehouse. For two weeks online I had no ideas. Today, in five minutes, I have everyone sorted.

As I finish my coffee, ready to head off to buy everything, I contemplate just how easy this is. I may even go as far as saying, it’s fun. Maybe it’s not shopping I hate, it’s just the places I’ve been shopping at. At Albany Mega Centre getting everything you need for everyone this Christmas couldn’t be easier. Even for a miserable non-shopper like me!

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