UNITED STATES─This holiday season I have come to a major conclusion: it is okay for me to shop online. For years, and I mean years, I have not been a fan of e-commerce. Why? I don’t trust entering my credit card information online, and I just like to have my goods in my hands. I do not like to wait for things. However, my biggest concern with online shopping, is not just the delay of waiting for the product to arrive in the mail, it’s the fact that you do not KNOW when it will arrive in the mail.

On top of that, you have that issue pertaining to porch pirates, where people just steal those packages off of your porch without a second thought. Yeah, it sucks to have a package you’ve been waiting for, swiped by someone without your knowledge. Yes, one state in the U.S. passed a law pushing stricter consequences for those who swipe packages from your property. However, there isn’t much you can do. You cannot time when your package is arriving unless you’re paying extra money for shipping, which I think NO ONE wants, at least I don’t.

So what other option do you have? You can shop in store, or you can get the best of both worlds. Yes, there is a trend growing where you can shop for your items online and go pick them up in store. This is an amazing tool and saves you a ton of time looking for something that might already be in store. All you have to do is select that item, take care of payment and pick-up the item without waiting in long lines to check out.

I have done this at several retailers, and it was an amazing experience. Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s are all great places that have your items ready within 2 hours after you have ordered online. Kohl’s and Macy’s in particular had the items ready for pickup within an hour. I just love the idea of walking into the brick-and-mortar, showing that barcode, picking up your items and being on your way. It’s a terrific feeling America.

I’m always going to be someone who will always shop in a physical store. I like to see what I’m buying, and to make things easier, I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my item because it’s being shipped and I have no clue when it will arrive. I mean I had a package that was to come on a Friday, but it ended up arriving on a Wednesday. That’s two days before I expected it. Making the situation worse is you never quite know what TIME that item is coming. It could come early, middle of the day or super late at night.

You might have that trepidation over the fact that you still have to gas up your car and go to that establishment, where if you order online you don’t have to worry about that issue. I will leave that decision up to the consumer. Some like online shopping, some like in-person shopping, some like a mix of both. Whatever is your cup of tea, understand there are options available to you to make your shopping experience that much easier or fun, especially during this chaotic time of year.