It’s a week before Christmas and all through the house…

You finish the sentence. After all it’s different for everyone. Some people handle the holidays with total calm; systematically checking things off their to-do-lists – tree decorated, check; cookies baked, check; cards mailed, check; presents bought and wrapped, check. No muss, no fuss. Then there’s the “other” group who seem to need a fast-approaching deadline and a firecracker under their chair to get the adrenaline flowing and get in gear. That would be me. It’s not that I don’t like the holidays: I LOVE Christmas! It’s my favorite time of year. The music, the movies, the colors, the sights and sounds, the family time – I love all of it! I’m also still old-fashioned enough to believe that the official start of the season is the day after Thanksgiving. There are certain things I can expect with this decision. By now crowds, long lines, limited supplies, no parking and too few checkout lanes should be a given. Shoppers, including me, start to exhibit behavior that is a cross between panic, anger and “what the heck was I thinking”.

My decision to procrastinate does not give me license to be mean, rude, pushy or just downright annoying. I get it. I accept it. What I won’t accept are the people who believe the holiday shopping experience revolves around them. They’re the ones who push and shove; are rude and crabby; and totally suck the holiday spirit out of everyone around them.

Get over yourself. What did you expect this time of year? I’m a little fired up because it happened to me at lunch. I’m walking up to the counter to pay for my purchase when I get literally overtaken by a woman who cuts me off at the pass like I’m not even there. She then proceeds to monopolize the salesperson while the minutes left on my lunch break tick away. No excuse me, no I’m sorry, no nothing. Tidings of comfort and joy. Let’s keep it in perspective – you’re buying “stuff” and “stuff" isn’t what the season is truly about.

To paraphrase some words of wisdom from Bill Murray’s character Frank Cross in the holiday classic Scrooged, “…it should be the one time of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a short time out of the whole year, we are the people we always hoped we would be!”

At least, that’s the way it should be. Just saying.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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