Monday, December 5, 2011

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks! What's it all Mean?

Well I got into the spirit of Christmas over the weekend, did you? For some of you, you don't even have your Christmas decorations up, your tree is only lit because it's prelit and you can simply plug it in, and others are debating if this year is even worth dragging all those decorations up from the basement, garage or wherever you have them stored.

Yet what does all this really mean? I am talking about the simple busyness of the season, the hussle and bussle of the shoppers? I got to experience some of this yesterday while running to Micheal's to pick up some snow for our houses we paint every year. It's a tradition my husband remembered being a part of his Christmas' growing up so it's one we've adopted. We stop by Michael's and grab some plaster houses for about $3.00 since they are now half price, and along with some water based paints we've had for awhile, begin painting various buildings. This year, we'll add a diner and a gas station to our growing collection.

We'll put the Christmas music on, and talk while painting our buildings. Over the years, our kids have joined in along with their friends and we have quite the collection now. All of them have been hand painted from 2005 til now. It brings back so many memories just unpacking them and setting them up. But back the Michael's.

I already have the mind set that you have to be prepared this year to struggle to find ANY parking anywhere you go, especially on the weekends. You have to be prepared for messy, over-crowded stores, and pushy people, kids that have been dragged to one too many stores and now are "voicing" their own opinions on everyone along with really, long lines. Now throw all those together in one store and you have our experience at Michael's. Oh wait did I mention one husband who has been really short on patience lately? Yeah, well now you have the setting for our outing.

The poor couple in front of us had their basket filled to overflowing with 18-inch wreaths that were on sale and because they weren't ringing up at the "sale" price, a debate with the check out clerk ensued. Not to mention, ours was the shortest line up to this point. Now you can imagine the battle going on in front of us with the lady customer who was getting loud and the poor sales clerk, while customer after customer in front of us managed to get out of the store way before us. For each one that checked out, my husband's patience was checking out right along with them.

I on the other hand, managed to remain calm because I had prepared myself for all these things to happen, so when you prepare, you don't get upset. I just sat back smiling, patiently waiting, feeling sorry for the poor clerk who was getting yelled at and had to keep cancelling their order and re-ringing everything up. By the time, we managed to reach her, she smiled and thanked us for waiting so patiently. I thanked her for being so patient with her customers and how busy they must be, while my husband was fuming on the inside and only managed to keep his frustrations on the inside.

This serves as a reminder that we must always be prepared for what lies ahead of us, as much as we can anyway. We serve a God who always knows the paths that lie ahead of us and what the outcomes will be. Now is the time for us, to take an extra breath, offer a smile to a busy waitress or cashier, or even a customer near you. There are far too many in much too big of a rush to see the needs of those around them, and I don't want you to miss it. There is beauty in everything! From the overly crowded stores to parking lots filled to capacity, to busy coffee stands. Let's gift everyone we run into with the love and grace of the God we serve with a caring smile and a kind word.

It's definitely the gift that means more than money and one that everyone can afford to give! Don't forget while you're at it, to wish them a Merry Christmas too!

By the way, for the 5th day of the photo challenge for December, my photo at the top is "Something Warm and Toasty!" It's a mug of hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and red and green sprinkles! I make them for our family as we enjoy our family Christmas movie night where each night we watch one Christmas movie as we count down the days til Christmas. It brings us together and allows us to really talk about each movie. Tonight it will be "It Happened on Fifth Avenue, a definite vintage Christmas movie!


Denise said...

That picture makes me go yummy. I love hot chocolate.

Cathy said...

I used hot chocolate too, only mine was with marshmallows.

Parsley said...

I hear you loud and clear on the shopping experiences.

Yummy hot cocoa there. mmmmmmmm

LV said...

Kat, you are just the best when it comes to sharing events in your life. I can relate to all you said. Your husband and I could never go to a store together. My patience is a real short fuse. I have very few decorations up and am through with my shopping. I am staying away from the crowds. You are welcome to use anything you see on my blog. You should share all your houses with us on a blog.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Love it, love it, love it!!! I can just picture the scenario at Michaels. Remember, I lived in the high desert for 21 years and hung out at Michaels. The parking lot would be a madhouse! I love your attitude! I also love the idea of your Christmas village. Can you take pictures so we can see them all?

Joyce said...

I think we do have to go into the shops (and parking lots!) with the right mind set. I was in Michael's yesterday too. I wondered about something though...the store was packed as you'd expect and with so many people out of work why don't they hire an additional checker. Two checkers for a line a mile long.

I made a cocoa mix yesterday and its on my blog today for the candy cane has crushed peppermint as an ingredient. Enjoy your day!

Laurie! said...

I had sort of a similar experience at a Michael's over the weekend. The store was so packed with merchandise and people that my husband had to wait for me outside. He was getting claustrophobic!