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Remembering fondly the Christmases of old
By MARY PARTINGTON
Published December 13, 2007
Happy. Merry. Whatever.
I am having a bit of trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I have been working in a retail store getting ready for Dec. 25, and I must say it has turned my spirit into ill will. Every day in the break room you hear comments like, "People are so mean" and "This is the worst year ever for nasty customers."
Why the nastiness and unpleasantries? Are we trying to do too much with too little? Did the customer stop at the gas station for a fill-up before they went shopping? Is the list too long or nonexistent? Have the customers been watching too much Jerry Springer-like shows?
Could it be that there is no one to help find anything? How about a stamp costing 41 cents? What about waiting in line and getting poor service?
Yes, the traffic is terrific and the cell phones are ringing. The little tinkle sound of the person manning the red bucket outside the store greets you as you walk by. Noise, noise, and more noise no matter where you go.
What we need is a little quiet time with some hot chocolate and a Christmas cookie, but who has time to bake?
Excuse me, but I miss the old-fashioned Christmas. I miss getting all dressed up and going to see Santa and having lunch in a beautiful tearoom.
I miss walking into the house and the wonderful smell of a live tree. I miss going to bed on Christmas Eve in great anticipation of the children's reaction to dolls and trains.
Everything today is plastic, including those little plastic gift cards. It makes life easier but where is the glee in, "Oh! Wow! It's a card, that I may or may not remember to use."
The tree comes in a box and so does dinner. Our finery is a pair of flip-flops and a T-shirt. It is a wireless world with more connections than you can count.
Yearning for the past is futile and foolish. I am just resolving to make the present a little more pleasant.
A little personal gift with that plastic card inside might bring a brighter smile. A gift of cookie mix in a jar might help bring the smell of just-baked cookies. Phone calls instead of cards, since calling is free.
Give a smile instead of a scowl and give a hug when it is needed.