Oh, boy, here it comes. Shopping season. That time of year when businesses hope to boom, thereby carrying them through the winter. And the time for each of us to wonder what gift or gesture will delight a loved one as a token of joy reflecting His gift to us. I’ll be in the fray soon.
In the meantime, might I suggest a way to see this happy season and other people in a different way? Here’s what I mean.
I was hopping back into my car after loading the trunk, when I saw a familiar face. Young, know her mom and dad, and if she’d turned my way I would have called hello. As she headed for the big glass doors at the grocery I noted her clothing. Saturday attire, like mine, knit pants, a light jacket, sneakers. Hair pulled back and no makeup. Then I wondered if anyone she would encounter, maybe in hot dogs, would know about her gift. Her voice. That when she opened her mouth to sing on Christmas Eve out of it would come a most beautiful rendition of “Pia Jesu” or maybe “Oh, Holy Night”. Would anyone know that as they indulged in light banter with her over chicken or all beef? Probably not. But the person next to you in line could have just such a gift. So cool.
Or how about the little girl and her mother I saw at the craft fair the weekend before? Karen and I were strolling down an aisle full of handmade earrings, embroidered sweatshirts, and doll clothes when we heard the screaming. Every mother’s been there. The girl was on the floor. Mom had attempted to pull her up and that kid had withdrawn her arm into her coat leaving Mom with an empty sleeve and a growing wrath. “Oh, I am so glad those days are over,” I said averting my eyes so that poor mother wouldn’t be too embarrassed. She had my heart.
And then there was the humorless Kohl’s cashier. Whew, Frosty the Snowman must have been her dad. You know, before he got the magic hat that made him all jolly with Jimmy Durante singing about it in the background? Here, let me say that I pride myself on being an out-of-the-ordinary customer to every employee in any store I visit. Remembering the good, the bad and the ugly customers from when we had a retail establishment, I go out of my way to be hearty and – dare I say it – charming. But not with this chick. Despite my best quips and witty comments, I did not win her over. Huh.
These three examples are all of women. They bear the brunt (with a few men) of whatever needs to be done to ensure a good time is had by all during any given holiday. Christmas is the big one. You will encounter them this year as you’re out there being a friend of many merchants. Any one of them could have a beautiful gift, the patience of a saint, or a really, really cold upbringing. So here’s your mission. Be on the lookout. You can be a bit of light for at least a few of them. Offer your smile, your good cheer or a silent prayer, and may the spirit of the season be upon you.
Image: Free Digital Photos