Many years ago I was working at a retail clothing shop around the holidays. I will never forget the day, close to Christmas, when this woman came in to do her holiday shopping. She sped around the store at a fast walking pace (just short of running).
As I watched her, without slowing down, she grabbed items from the different displays and put them in her arms: A scarf here, a hat and bag here, a sweater there. In a record time she was fulfilling all of her gift giving obligations.
And I could tell, by the way that she was acting, that they were gift-giving obligations. I mean I suspect that if she had been really enthusiastic about buying that sweater for her sister she might have spent more than exactly ½ of a second considering whether her sister would like it.
I remember having to stop my mouth from falling open. I had never seen anyone shop so fast. And I remember thinking, “This cannot be what this holiday is about.”
What bugged me about the scene? I felt like this woman’s actions epitomized for me the worst of what the holiday season can become—a rushed and thoughtless buying obligation, devoid of thoughtfulness or joy. She wasn’t happy. She was out of breath and stressed when she got up to the counter with all of her loot. Frankly, it made me sad to watch.
That day, that woman made me question and remember what the holiday season means to me. I’m not sure I would have thought about it if I hadn’t seen such a blatant example of what I thought it was not and I thank her for that. I think about her every year at this time. And I like to remind myself of my answer. I suspect that each of us has a different response to that question.
To make the most of your holiday season—become aware of what you love and value about this time of year. Ask yourself simply, “What is my favorite part about this season?” Then you can make time for it—or enjoy it as it is happening. That way, even if you have to be that rushed and frantic shopper, at least you will also have found the occasion to make time for and enjoy the things that you love about this time of year.
It only comes once every 12 months. The time to enjoy it is NOW!
Add a comment to tell us what you love about this holiday season!