The scurry of footsteps through the lines, the beep of scanners and clang of change drawers, the warmth of a freshly printed receipt: For retailer owners, the happiest time of the year has arrived. The glimmer of greed in a young child’s eye as he sits upon Santa’s lap and the shrug of defeat for the parent who can’t break their little devil’s heart spell one thing for stores all over: C-H-A-CH-I-N-G.
And why not? It is Christmas, after all. How else on earth could dairy farmers market something as thick and bizarre as eggnog? How else would ornament factories keep their warehouse doors open? The seasonal burst in sales keeps many businesses afloat, and although it’s the curse of every parent’s purse, decking the halls does our society good.
There is a saying that it’s better to give than to receive, and while that might just soften the blow for someone who doesn’t get a single gift, I’d say giving and receiving are somewhere about equal. It’s pretty cool to feel your eyes light up when you get something that you would never have thought to get yourself.
Likewise, it’s cool to give somebody special something and see their eyes light up, until you unwrap the fruitcake they gave you and you begin plotting revenge. A lot of people forget that they could be getting coal for Christmas, so unless you’re trying to smelt some ore, you could be getting a lot worse.
Christmas lights really haven’t kept up with other entertainment technology, but there still is something charming about the glow these little bulbs cast. Not too many scientific studies have been conducted on Christmas lights (except to show that the lead they contain is harmful), but it is my personal belief that they help us access a sort of collective memory of our ancestors stapling their fingers to the side of the house, falling off a ladder or some other type of America’s Funniest Home Videos cup of cheer. Luckily, there are still some neighborhoods where the whole street ODs and drains the grid for the sake of holiday magic.
Despite some annoyances, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Blustery winds and chilly rain on your beach day? At least you’re not snowed in! Christmas traffic and waiting for parking at the mall? More time to listen to Christmas carols!
Sure, there are plenty of things to complain about during this season, but don’t let your attitude be one of them. You don’t want to be the guy everyone’s avoiding, or you might wind up under the mistletoe alone.