What gets you in the mood?

I'm not talking about that mood, I'm talking about a holiday mood.

For the record, what gets me in that mood is Bradley Cooper, but I have a feeling I'm not getting him for Christmas.

Ho-ho-horny.

But to stay on point, the holidays are upon us, and we're all performing the 300 tasks required thereby, primarily shopping. So this year, to make my life easier, I had the great idea to do all my shopping online.

But, like many of my allegedly great ideas, it had a downside.

What happened was that my tour for my last book just ended, leaving me no time to go shopping, so I'd thought all-online was the way to go. And I've just been online-shopping for two hours, on the computer at my desk, where I sit every day, tapping on the keyboard, seeing no other human beings.

If you don't count a dog in a sweater.

Yes, my dogs wear sweaters at this time of year, not only because I'm too cheap to turn up the heat, but also because they look completely adorable.

Plus I like dressing them in their sweaters because it makes me feel like I have children I don't have to send to college.

So to me, dogs in sweaters count as human beings.

Anyway, as regards online shopping, I got almost all of it done. I think I got pretty good deals, too, because it was so easy to switch around to the different websites and compare.

There was no rush for a parking space.

There were no long lines to wait in.

There was no begging a salesperson for a cardboard box.

There were no other shoppers, harried and exhausted, walking in circles around the mall, going through the same thing I was.

But now, two hours later, the disadvantage is completely obvious.

I'm not in a holiday mood.

There is no holiday mood, anywhere in sight.

Why?

There was no rush for a parking space.

There were no long lines to wait in.

There was no begging a salesperson for a cardboard box.

There were no other shoppers, harried and exhausted, walking in circles around the mall, going through the same thing I was.

In short, I saved myself the time and the trouble, but the time and the trouble were exactly what put me in a holiday mood.

It turns out that a stress-free holiday is no holiday at all.

Maybe I have to hate the holiday to love the holiday?

It got me thinking about online shopping in general, and lately I've been thinking about that a lot, especially having been on book tour. It comes as no surprise to anyone that there are fewer bookstores in the world. Plenty of wonderful independent bookstores have closed, and even a big chain bookstore like Borders is now a thing of the past.

What worries me is that bookstores could become a thing of the past.

And if bookstores become a thing of the past, then it's only a matter of time until reading becomes a thing of the past.

And if that happens, I think we are worse for that, as a society.

It may be obvious as an abstract matter, but I realized that many other types of stores could go belly-up, if I keep shopping on my butt.

So I taught myself a lesson:

Vote with my feet.

If I want to live in a community that has bookstores and all other kinds of stores, as well as local people happily employed in those stores, I have to go out and buy stuff.

I'm putting on my coat and going shopping.

I look forward to the cranky shoppers, the waiting in lines, and the fighting over the parking space.

And I'm wishing you and yours a happily stressful holiday.

Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's most recent humor collection, "Have a Nice Guilt Trip," and for Lisa's new novel, "Betrayed," available now.