I believe Christmas should be celebrated by being kind to one another. This sounds cliché but I find in many cases practice has yet to follow theory. My belief in kindness at Christmas isn’t religiously based. Whether you believe he is the son of God or not, it is hard to deny Jesus had some good ideas. Be kind to one another. Go out of your way to do what’s right, not just what is accepted. Spread good will as far as you are able. I know very few people who don’t think these are pretty good principles to live by, Christian or not. The fact is, if you participate in Christmas in any way, i.e. buying gifts, you are, however remotely, celebrating the day the Catholic Church proclaimed as Jesus’s birthday. Does it not seem fitting then to celebrate this day or season by following his example?
I am currently working my second, and hopefully last, Christmas in retail. This has provided me a front row seat to the lack of good will toward men pervasive in the average American consumer. It isn’t that every one is mean. It is just they aren’t particularly nice. They often aren’t nice at all. The number of people annoyed by the existence of other human beings, particularly those wearing nametags and trying to help them, increases exponentially weekly beginning in early November. The discontent spreads to shopping aisles, parking lots, and roads.
It isn’t hard to counter this Yule Tide cynicism. In the crammed parking lots surrounding shopping centers everywhere, give the horn a rest. Rather than cutting off the person in front of you on the off chance they might be making a dash for that last tickle me Elmo Extreme like you are, smile and wave with all your fingers, not just one. Perhaps most important, be kind to those working retail in this, the busiest season of the year. If the barista is a little slow with your latte, or the cashier is having a hard time with the register and the line is backing up, try smiling at them. Chances are you are one of the few people today who have.
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