Saturday, December 10, 2011

What's Really in the Room During the Holidays~Stop Opening the Gifts and Listen

The day after Thanksgiving my mom and I headed out for our annual Black Friday shopping extravaganza, which marks the official start to the holidays. While we don't participate in the wee hours of the a.m. we certainly still find ourselves deals amongst the crowded aisles throughout the stores. I suppose everyone's motives that day are essentially the same. The bottom line is saving money on some great items for the holidays, but my question is at what cost? Two instances that day prompted this blog post.

While we were checking out at the register in Macy's the salesgirl made a small mistake and apologized. She mentioned having to get up at 3 a.m. to come into work and was a bit over tired. While I agree it is her choice to commit to a retail position that requires you to show up the day after Thanksgiving at 4 a.m., it dawned on me she has to because the public expects it. Every holiday season retailers without fail open their doors for the public at unreasonable hours. They advertise their deals and people rush out of their homes to go and catch them. I feel as though the gift giving season the day after Thanksgiving should not begin by pulling people away from their families, only to satisfy the masses and their appetite for deals. Economists will argue that the surge in sales that day can help push our pathetic economy along, but if stores opened at regular hours wouldn't people still show up?

On our last stop before heading home I saw a gift giving tree for the needy in one of the stores. There were hanging ornaments in the shape of Christmas trees that detailed the age of the children and what they wanted from Santa. One of them read- age 4. Size 4T. Socks, underwear and pajamas. I stared at it for a bit and then all I felt was heartbroken for that little girl. Ten minutes earlier I was strolling through the aisles in Toys R Us passing people with shopping carts filled to the brim, and this little girl just needs some socks.

I'm not looking for validation from this blog post, and I don't want to be a holiday Debbi downer. I just ask of these few things-

  • Say thank you to anyone you encounter who is working this holiday season whether it is a retail store, policeman, doctor, nurse or military. They are giving a gift greater than anything you can unwrap.
  • Remind your loved ones to be thankful for the amazing blessings the universe sends them, today and everyday. 
  • Remember the holidays are not about deals, gifts and spoiling your loves ones. It's about spending time together and being appreciative.
  • Keep it simple and be grateful. 


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