After a long and joyful day on Thanksgiving, and having so much great food I still had a craving for ice cream that evening. I’ve never ventured out on the night of Thanksgiving to a local box store let alone experienced black Friday crowds. After what seemed liked maneuvering through a third world obstacle course to reach the frozen food section with ice cream, I drew that question to mind, “what happened to the joys of holiday shopping?”
I can remember a time before crowds were vigorously large, flocking like vultures and full of self greed and rage toward each other in hopes of grabbing that cheap, discounted gift that they probably didn’t even really want or need, and doing all this right after the day they have just given thanks for so many things they have in their lives, and the relationships of family and friends they cherish.
Yes, I can remember planning a full day of shopping at the Mall for starters. Getting dressed and putting on nice “upper casual” clothes as I knew it was more than just shopping, it was a social scene in lack of better words. I mean social scene as in everyone was strolling through the Malls and stores with smiles on their faces and passing a quick smile as they passed someone, said excuse me and politely let others enter a store before them if they approached the entrance at the same time.
It was a social interaction of respecting yourself, the way you looked, the way you carried yourself in public, and the vibes you put out to others passing you by that in return gave you a sense of pleasant hospitality. A feeling of how well civilized and developed we are as a mortals. Yes, all this still exists when shopping, you just have to look for it. It starts with looking at yourself first, and then you’ll see it in others.
Believe it or not there use to be a time that the music of Christmas playing through the fantastically decorated stores actually brought a sense of calm and humanism as people shopped. Instead of rage for being first to grab particular items, you have a more over joyous excitement in your stomach for the actual person that was going to be receiving the item. Holiday shopping is all about that little feeling of, “oh, they are going to love this” mentality and displaying it when you shop.
There is still a place and time where the only growing lines of impatient and angry people are the little kids anxiously standing in line with gleam in their eyes as they wait to have their picture taken with Santa and of course tell him what they would like for Christmas, which was usually not a 40 inch flat screen t.v. on sale for half the normal cost.
It was a social event for me to walk around carrying the large and small bags, and seeing the number of bags others were carrying. The smell of ladies and gents perfumes and cologne as they passed you buy, and the only real irritation was the little 3-year-old in the distance that was crying continuously because he had a cold and didn’t feel good, in which, you showed more compassion for the mother trying to console the child, rather than displaying intolerance for the noise. Little displays like that spark the internal joys of shopping.
I still enjoy going to the malls and not really knowing what I’m going to buy for someone in my family until I just happen to pass by an interesting store and take the time looking at all the items they have until something grabs my thought and idea for someone. That’s the fun of “shopping” not “grabbing”.
So, if you were apart of the madness on Friday, well I have no judgement on you, other than I hope you did keep your dignity and respect for yourself amongst the inconsiderate hoarders that we unfortunately have to endure.
I know some feel they have to be apart of that, and some actually enjoy participating in it. I respect that, but I feel your missing out on the most spectacular time of people to people interaction and the expression of civilized and well-mannered behavior while ingesting all the Holiday aromas and visuals.
Displaying the true politeness that you respect in return, and the exchanging of smiles and temperament toward each other as we all stroll the stores carrying our special gifts for special someones on Christmas, is truly more magical than standing in crowded lines to rush for material things without even the slightest fellow interaction of a nice hello.
Now, you don’t have to be rich in terms of money to slow down and enjoy this magic of shopping I talk about. You just have to spend your wealth of compassion, politeness and humanism in order to buy these spiritually, magical moments when shopping. You will still get your flat screen or iPod or gadget, but you will acquire so much more, in which, enriches within you every single Season. Be kind to each other, and be tolerant even on the most hectic day of the year.
Happy Holiday Shopping, no matter how much you buy, and may the aromas and humane interactions with each other in the process be the ultimate gift you take home.
Jason Young Guy