I was going to write to you today about Christmas — which is coming up much too soon — and what it means to me — when I realized that right now what Christmas means to me is shopping, and as fast as possible…
It always seems that I’m so behind at this time of year. How about you? Do you have your shopping done way ahead of time, or are you like me and put it off until almost the last moment?
Well, if you don’t mind, let’s take a moment to look at shopping. Whether you love it or not, we all seem to have to do it from time to time, and it appears that much of our civilization depends on thee and me out there doing our share of shopping. In the old days, there was trading. From the Native American standpoint, shopping consisted of get togethers at the end of the summer and seeing old friends and relatives. Here was probably the mainstay of what has become the modern Pow-wow. Of course, there was the Trading Post as a center of shopping, but that’s long after the trade routes were already well established.
In the old West the general store was the place where most people went to stock up on the goods they needed. Before the white man had taken stock of the Wild West, there were trading centers where even enemies went to trade with one another. One of these places was the Mandan village, which was located on the Missouri River — in what is now North Dakota. Tribes from all over the West would come to the Mandan village where trading would go on night and day. There was much talk, much getting to know each other and lots of enjoyment day in and day out.
Much of civilization seems to center around trade and trade routes and for want of a better term, shopping. The Old Santa Fe Trail was made famous due to the trade and the commerce between one civilization and another. But I digress…
I would love to hear your opinions on this subject. For myself, I love to shop, but I have friends that dread it every year. So I understand if you are not one of those people who looks forward to getting out in those crowds. I must admit that as a youngster I hated shopping, couldn’t wait until it was done, but as I grew older and had more appreciation for clothes and shoes and items like this in general, I grew to love it.
So come on in and tell me. Do you enjoy shopping, or absolutely dread it? Whether we like it or not, however, it seems that shopping is as old as the human race, itself.