Much like everything else this holiday season, I am behind schedule on writing to you this year. You probably won’t get this until after Christmas, but I thought it might be nice to have something to read once you get home. Perhaps it will give you something to do during the commercials while relaxing in your La-Z-Boy, watching football.
Which reminds me, did you get the Slanket (the blanket with sleeves) that we sent you? I thought it would go nicely with the Clapper that we gave you last year.
I’m not sure why, but the holidays really snuck up on me this year. Maybe it was the excitement of the presidential election or perhaps it was the chaotic economy and all of the “Going out of Business” sales going on right now. If it weren’t for my kids’ constant reminders, Christmas would have come and gone with me being none the wiser.
I’ve gotta tell you, there wasn’t much Christmas spirit this year. I remember how when I was a kid the air was filled with electricity during the holidays, and it wasn’t just from your neighbor’s gigantic light display.
No, the electricity was something more. It came from everyone around you. You could look around and see people smiling for no apparent reason. You could hear parents humming their favorite holiday tune in the grocery store. Children’s laughter was everywhere and people seemed genuinely excited about the holidays.
Not so much anymore.
Maybe it’s because I’m all grown-up, but people sure have gotten grumpy. Did you notice an increase of names on your Naughty List this year? For your sake I sure hope the price of coal has come down like the price of gas.
The kids seem to be their normal, sweet, Christmas selves—it’s the adults who are becoming more and more difficult to deal with.
Take this lady at the mall the other day. While waiting in a long check-out line, I watched as she moved to cut right in front of everyone. A saleswoman behind the counter said something to her about cutting, to which she replied, “But I’ve been waiting!”
Apparently, she was more important than the rest of the people who had been waiting.
“We’ve all been waiting,” I said trying my best to smile through gritted teeth. The lady only glared at me with a look that had nothing to do with Christmas cheer.
Then there was this lady at the post office. I was waiting in line to use the automated postal center, and of course the post office was crazy. It was the last day to guarantee Christmas arrival (you know how that goes) and to top it off, one of the two automated computers was broken, making the line take twice as long. But, I had no one to blame but myself for having waited until the last minute to mail my packages, and being irritated by the long lines wasn’t going to make the line move any faster.
A lady wearing a red sweatshirt covered in jingle bells standing behind me thought otherwise.
“Is that one broken?” the sweatshirt lady asked. This wasn’t a nice question that she was asking. The tone in her voice was rude, irritated, and filled with venom that just happened to be directed at me, the first one in line.
“No, we are all just standing here for the fun of it! I’m having fun. Aren’t you having fun?” I asked her.
Most of the people in line laughed. The sweatshirt lady didn’t. For a minute, I thought she might beat me to death with her over-sized package. Crazier things have happened in post offices.
So, I know that Christmas is over and that you’re tired and all tapped out, but I was wondering if I could still put in a gift request. It’s nothing that has to be wrapped or placed under a tree. Think of it as a New Year’s present, something to benefit all of us in 2009.
In the New Year, could you please give everyone a little more consideration? You know, something to help us all be more courteous towards one another? Yes, Santa. We need a little kindness, right this very minute.
And if you could do something about all of the long lines during the holidays, that would be great. They just might be to blame for much of the crankiness going on.
Oh, and thanks so much for all of the presents for the boys. Once again, you outdid yourself. Hugs and kisses to Mrs. Claus and the elves.
©2008, Stephenie B. Freeman