Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cheer up, it's Christmastime

“You know it must be near Christmas because people are getting grouchy.”
A buddy of mine made that comment after a grueling afternoon of gift shopping. It certainly does not fit with the spirit of Christmas, but I it does hold a sliver of truth.
Many people are filled with the joy of Christmas and the blessings of the Yule Tide season, but there are a few who are full of something else.
After my Scrooge-like friend made the comment I spent some time a local shopping oasis – the mall – and dang it if he wasn’t right.
Some people were a little on the grumpy side - especially when it came to finding a parking spot. Yikes, some folk out there are downright nasty in their quest to park as close to the front door as possible.
Personally, I could care less if I have to walk a block or so to get to the front door, but in just a few minutes I observed some very Grinchy behaviour among the festive season shoppers.
“Hey, I was going to park there!”
“Too bad, I got here first.”
“Yeah, well, then ‘bless’ you, pal.”
Not exactly a Disney Christmas moment.
I even had a kindly, grandma-type lady yell, scream and make a rather unpleasant gesture because I got to a parking spot 10 seconds before she did.
I clearly got there first because I had my car turned off before she even pulled up, but I guess her Granny vision saw the spot from a distance and knew it was destined to be hers.
However, in the spirit of Christmas, I started my car and reversed out of the spot, while giving the universal signal she can have the spot with a wave of my hand and a smile on my face.
She replied once again with a different universal signal while pulling her car into the now-vacant prime parking space.
Even after I gave her a really good parking spot, the Granny from Hell was still not feeling the festive mood. I wonder what she was shopping for - rat tails and eye of newt, no doubt.
Were the Wisemen riled up because they had a hard time finding a parking space for their camels when they went to the manger to see Baby Jesus?
Of course not, and these guys did not have to walk a block to get to the front door, they had to ride stinky, uncomfortable camels for who knows how along across the blazing desert just to deliver a few gifts to a baby. Mind you it’s not every day the son of God is born so I guess it was worth the effort.
Since that hallowed day, the theme of Christmas has been peace on earth and good will toward man. Not ‘50 per cent off selected items while quantities last’ as it has become in more recent times.
Or being barraged by ad campaigns that brainwash your child into needing a certain toy or they will grow up bitter and warped and put you in an old folk’s home first chance they get.
But even I am letting the Grinch in me come out as I bemoan the lack of Christmas spirit. Not everyone is miserable during the happiest time of the year – only those who get swindled by the nonsense of the season rather than enveloped by the joy. There is still a lot of good will out there. Many people smile a little easier, offer a friendly ‘Hello’ to those they don’t know and even go out of their way to help others with no expectation of personal gain.
Which is exactly what Christmastime is supposed to be like – remember, good will and all that stuff.
If the opposing forces stuck in the trenches of the First World War can put down their guns and stop killing each other for a day to share the joy of Christmas, surely we can be civil to each other in the mall parking lot.
That is not too much to hope for, is it?
Merry Christmas everyone.

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