Christmas and the demise of Yukon shopping

December 12, 2006

When I first moved to Whitehorse nearly 10 years ago, I did all of my Christmas shopping on Main Street. Stores were lit up with decorations, deals and of course, people looking for deals - or just buying whatever was left on the shelves.

My family received Yukon-made coffee, clothing, pottery, mugs and other paraphernalia that sought to remind them of their son way up north.

Fast forward to 2006 and I haven't bought one single gift in the Yukon. Instead, I've done all of my shopping online.

From books and toys at Chapters, to home appliances at Sears and clothing from an assortment of stores, I don't have to venture out into the cold (and it's been really chilly here over the past month) to buy everything I need. It's all there, just a hot cup of coffee and an Internet connection away.

Thinking back to 1998, I miss the old days of shopping downtown. Joining in the cheer and bustle of fellow Yukoners zipping around Main Street brings back happy memories for me. Though, the stress, frigid temperatures and lack of selection were definitive strikes against the experience.

But then I look at my list - now complete - and wonder, despite the nostalgia, how can shopping in Whitehorse even hold a candle to what's available online? The very thought bums me out.

Not only for what once was, but for the obvious battle that Main Street merchants face to bring local shoppers into their stores. I'm hopeful that not everybody is like me.

Are you?