Haul out the Holly

Yep, another song for ya. Lucille Ball style. ‘Cuz Christmas just isn’t Christmas without terrible singing, creepy Santa masks, and ornamented spectacles. I apologize for the WB petition at the beginning of the clip. I’d also like to draw your attention to the last few seconds of the video, where the poster claims the video wasn’t popular because it was released after people lost interest in musicals. Yeah, that’s why it wasn’t popular. 

Anyway, I have had this song running through my head for the past couple of days, and I’ve been thinking about a comment conversation between Kristy and me. She and I were talking about how this time of year is supposed to be filled with joy and yet it is just filled with people rushing around. Kristy even commented that people seem LESS joyful at this time of year than at any other time.

I had to laugh at myself the other day when Jonathan and I were working on some decorating around the house (because, NO, of course we’re not done! We’ll finish decorating on Christmas). I was getting all flustered and frustrated because he was taking a long time to accomplish some task and I just wanted to move on to something else and needed his help. I ended up saying, “Come on! I just want to celebrate CHRISTMAS!”

Yesterday I was at Walmart (oh, you KNOW I loved it). It was 2:40, and I was due home to feed Gelato by 3. He had woken up from his nap early, so Jonathan was carrying him around the house trying to keep him happy. I was pretty stoked to see a line that wasn’t five carts long (unusual sighting at a Walmart on a Sunday afternoon just before the Bronco game). I happily joined the line and then realized that the lady in front of me had her cart filled with a thousand Yoplait yogurt containers, 35 bags of Fritos, enough pork’n’beans to feed all the relatives in My Big Fat Greek Wedding until they paddle back to Greece in their inflatable canoes, and about a gazillion boxes of Hamburger Helper. You got it- Extreme Couponer Alert!

Since I try my hardest to be kind to all, and it frustrates me when people are rude to total strangers, I decided to stay in the line. I figured walking off in a huff, or even trying to surreptitiously check out the next-shortest line would make the clerk feel bad. It’s not HER fault that the Red Plum insert just came out. She was smiling an apologetic smile at me, and it would have been somewhat insensitive to just run away. So I smiled my “it’s-okay-because-I’m-patient” smile and pulled out my phone to check Facebook.

Then another lady, cart laden with party supplies, complete with piñata, pulled in behind me. She made some sort of comment about being in a hurry because she had to get home to set up before the guests arrived. You can probably see where this is headed.

Not only did Extreme Couponer watch the Sales Associate scan every single item (and check the price of each one while it was being scanned), but then she pulled out a prepaid debit card that had exactly $110 on it- she bought it last week, after all. Turns out the Sales Associate at the register is not actually supposed to be on a register after all. She’s a Floor person who got called to the front due to Excessive Couponers inundating the Regular Register Folk with heaping carts full of processed-flour-and-corn-syrup-laden-but-cheap!!! items. Anyway, the Sales Associate simply CANNOT figure out how to process the card. I mean, it says DEBIT right there on the front of the card, so the machine must be making a mistake when it tells the cashier to press the CREDIT button! She simply cannot press the CREDIT button- after all, the card says DEBIT. So it must be an error made by the Extreme Couponer on the customer side of the machine. She tells the Couponer to clear everything out and run it again, this time hitting DEBIT. Three times. Each time, the Couponer runs it through but the machine does not give her the option to hit DEBIT. It tells her to tell the cashier to press the CREDIT key. This is all too much for our Floor Sales Associate who has kindly but naively stepped up to the rigorous and taxing challenge known as “Customer Service”. So she calls in her Supervisor- a girl who is younger than me by about 8 years. Girl swipes the card, hits CREDIT, and moves on. “Oh, I just didn’t know I could do that! Thank you so much for helping me! I am so sorry that I didn’t realize that could be done! <slightly embarrassed laughter> I guess it’s just this old brain of mine! I keep telling my husband that things just aren’t working the way they used to!” and so on.

Now it might sound like I was annoyed. To be honest, I was. After all, I knew Jonathan was home with a fussy baby and Hula Girl’s nap end time looming. That’s enough to make any Mommy antsy. But I decided to keep on smiling that patient smile. After all, Floor Sales People can’t really be expected to know all the tips and tricks of the register. So I made polite conversation with her and found out that she was pretty flustered because the day had been crazy, what with the holidays and the Bronco game and all. She seemed to be somewhat timid and she kept getting distracted when the PSA Lady kept saying her name (PSA Lady was calling for someone else with the same name, but you all know what it feels like when someone calls your name, even if they’re not calling you). So, I gave her a little encouragement and wished her a Merry Christmas. She was going to need all the encouragement she could get, because Procrastinating Party Person behind me definitely needs a little Christmas.

Throughout the Couponing/DEBIT Debacle, as I was keenly interested in what was happening in front of me, I couldn’t help but overhear, “<mumble mumble shuffle shuffle beep beep> Hi. Yeah. Of course I am stuck in the long line. No I am not anywhere near leaving. Plus there’s someone else in front of me. No, the cashier’s soooooooo slow. I can’t believe she’s doing the register today. I mean, come on. Don’t they know that today is a busy day? Shouldn’t they put the fast people on the registers? Yeah and the lady is buying like all the yogurt in the store. I am serious.” Et cetera.

Luke 2:10-But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

Christmas sure isn’t about the decorations. It’s not about the wrapping. It’s not about the cider. It’s not about the holly. People need Christmas. Real Christmas. I hope Floor Sales Associate felt some Christmas from me. Isn’t it my job to bring Christmas to the world?

PS- Here’s a little shot of my peaceful Christmas with the family. Jonathan and I were snuggling with Hula Girl and we were reading Christmas stories together while sipping hot spiced cider.

Cider by the Tree

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. kristypowers said,

    December 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Yes, this anecdote is exactly the sort of thing I was experiencing a week or two ago. I’m so glad you did what you did with the woman running the register. Even though she did the wrong thing multiple times, I think your decision was fantastic. Your spark of Christmas spirit must have had a powerful effect. If not on her, then maybe someone else overheard it. Or maybe the person behind you will think about it sometime later and wonder if she should have been more gracious. I know coming across one especially gracious, unruffled person in the store has had a powerful effect on me more than once.

    • December 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      I am glad I was able to just relax as well. I’m kind of high-strung, in case you didn’t notice… but I’ve been able to go with the flow a lot more easily since Gelato was born. He’s my mellow little man, and I like to follow HIS example. Isn’t it amazing that our kids can teach us so much, even from birth!?

      • kristypowers said,

        December 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        My kids are the best teachers I have ever had!

  2. kristypowers said,

    December 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Oh, and watching that video was worth it for catching a glimpse of the creepy Santa mask. I have actually watched Auntie Mame before, but not that version. This 1958 version: https://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Auntie_Mame/60010102?ca_source=gaw&ca_pos=1t1&ca_cid=39896710&ca_agid=4788500604&ca_adid=15828753444&ca_chid=2001704&mqso=80013955&gclid=CNCdj9qh_7MCFbKiPAodKFgAbg

    Not my favorite movie.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: