It was Cyber Monday, the day holiday shoppers logged onto the Internet for virtual bargains, dressed in their pajamas. I rose out of bed extra early to get in on the goods, too.
With sleep still encrusted on my eyelids, I fired up the laptop. Of course, I had to brush my teeth first before I melted the computer screen. But then I hit the keyboard, cruising for sales.
In a matter of minutes, still in my pajamas, I found a bargain on beef jerky at JandJ meats in Cleveland, Ohio, which makes some of the best in the land. How it got in my pajamas, I'll never know. (Forgive me, Groucho, but I couldn't resist). Look, $3 off a pound of jerky only on Cyber Monday was too good to pass up.
Because it was such a good deal, it hit me that I would buy beef jerky for everyone on my Christmas shopping list this year. The exhilaration of purchasing a unique holiday gift pulsed through me. I was happier than Tiny Tim on Christmas morning when Scrooge came bounding through the door with a goose.
And all it took was the click of a mouse. I didn't have to battle lines of impatient shoppers, hunt for a parking space, and maybe challenge anyone to a duel who tries to cut in front of me in the check-out line. I was beaming as I sat in my pajamas, doing all my holiday shopping. This was like the perfect shopping storm all because of the computer, the Internet and Cyber Monday.
I believe that Cyber Monday is tailor-made, especially for guys like me. Every time I set foot in a mall or large department-type store, I break out in a cold sweat and want to curl into a fetal position. I would rather watch reruns of the Brady Bunch if I want to torture myself.
There are so many other benefits of cyber shopping. When I tire of surfing the Internet, I can take a break, grab some cold cuts from the fridge and build a sandwich, then head back for another round of shopping. I could care less about the cold or snow. I'm also saving on burning gas in my car and wearing out the soles of my shoes. You got to love this.
Of course, traditional shoppers have criticized my preference, claiming that it's too sterile -- too much of the lone wolf approach. Hmmm, let me understand this: Somehow battling crowds of crazed shoppers puts you in the holiday mood as you listen to Jingle Bells sung by the Ray Connif singers for the gazillionth time?
If that spurs your holiday spirit, shop on. I, on the other hand, consider holiday shopping a personal experience that I don't care to share with thousands in a mall.
I'm ecstatic to report that I began and finished my holiday shopping all in one crazy day. And I hope my suggestion of giving beef jerky for loved ones and friends resonated with you. If you have someone on your shopping list who loves good food, consider a pound of beef jerky.
You don't have to worry about picking out the right size or the best color. Of course, you get several choices for flavors -- hot, mild, BBQ, teriyaki, peppered, bison, chicken or turkey.
Forget about your image of beef jerky like you purchase in cellophane bags in convenience stores. No, my friends, this beef jerky is special. Any meat lover will salivate for this. Imagine sliding a box of freeze-dried beef jerky under the tree and watch their eyes light up as they unwrap it. Have the camera ready so you can capture the initial reaction. It's a memory you will cherish for many holidays to come.
As I navigated around the Internet, I could have selected a host of cool gifts at special Cyber Monday morning prices. My email inbox was overflowing with all types of offers for berries, flowers, electronic gadgets, clothing, shoes, sox, pajamas and dozens of other items that we really don't need.
This 2012 holiday season is all about beef jerky for me. It's the gift that leaves a lasting impression. I recall the first time I gifted beef jerky to a friend; the reaction was priceless. Her jaw fell open. She was speechless. It was better than another pair of earrings or a holiday pin. Gosh, I could tell she didn't know how to thank me.
When she sliced open the freeze-dried package and a whoosh of air hissed out filling the room with the scent of teriyaki; it was something to savor. As I recall, a tear ran down her cheek. It choked me up to see how emotional she was about the jerky. Unfortunately, we've since drifted apart, but I'm sure she can't forget the jerky.
Cyber Monday has come and passed, and my fridge is loaded with pounds of jerky, ranging from extra hot to mild. It's a great feeling to know that your holiday shopping is finished. Now I just have to figure out who gets what. This is going to be one special holiday giving season for me.
Frank Szivos is a freelance writer who vows to do all his holiday shopping online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.