No packages, boxes or bags?

Christmas Day is now less than 48 hours away; and for some anxiety has overtaken the true spirit of the holiday. Lines in the stores are long; filled with shoppers trying to find that one last gift, parking lots have become an “every man for themselves” experience and tempers all seem to be equipped with a short fuse.

I experienced this scenario yesterday in a local bookstore. You could feel the tension the minute you walked in – it was crowded and people were pushing and shoving; some were muttering under their breath and some were shouting their displeasure for all to hear.

Rather than wander aimlessly through the aisles, I stopped by the Information Desk for help in finding a particular book. One of the salespeople seemed a little more than flustered but was doing her best to stay professional. A customer she was assisting had just called her “stupid”.  My jaw dropped.  What an ugly thing to say to someone; especially someone trying to help you. And yet this behavior is oh so predictable when things get down to the wire. Why? Because we forget in that moment what’s really important. And that has nothing to do with packages, boxes or bags.

Dr. Seuss explains it best in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

With that thought, my wishes to all of you for a Christmas that means a little bit more.  Happy Holidays.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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