Last night, we went to the mall to finish up our Christmas shopping. My wife and I both decided that we’re going to try to buy all the presents for next year during the after-Christmas sales. That way, we aren’t rushed for time and won’t have to fight the big crowds. Sure, it’ll be crowded, but nothing compared to last night.
We also wanted to check out the lights near the mall and see the Christmas show outside in the street. We had a lot of fun at the show and looking at the lights, but I learned a few things:
First, Christmas seems to exaggerate our consumerism. There was all sorts of people—from the smallest child begging for that perfect toy, to the old man asleep in the the chair while his family shopped. Almost the entire population was there for the same goal: to obtain more stuff.
Savings accounts were drained, and paychecks were shredded. All the overtime worked throughout the year culminated to this season of buying. I think “Merry Christmas” should be changed to “Spend More!” It would be far more appropriate, as we are slowly chipping away at true Christmas ideals anyway.
I have strong opinions about that as well, but we’ll save that for another day.
Anyway, the second thing I learned is that people either become hyper-focused or just blatantly disregard everyone else in their efforts to complete their agenda. I’m sure this observation wouldn’t have been as clear to me if I wasn’t pushing a stroller through the mall.
I understand that large crowds aren’t the best place to be cruising in a stroller, but when someone looks down, sees the stroller, then nearly trips over it trying to get ahead, I think we have a problem. How about when a shopper (who, again, sees the stroller) decides they have the right of way and I need to move over so they can get to that sale. I had that one happen to me several times. Maybe I’m being a bit of a Scrooge, but it irritates me that people can be so selfish and careless.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that way, too. I know what it’s like to have a list of a million gifts, with only days to spare. I’ve just never experienced it from another point of view. It opened my eyes, so I hope that reading this will help you to be courteous to those around you when you’re out shopping, because that’s what this time of year is about: generosity and giving.
On a lighter note, I realized how much of a dad I am. I mean, I knew I was a dad, but last night it became much more clear. While I was waiting outside of one of the stores, I was playing with Atlas and people watching.
Most guys would take this moment of alone time to “look at the menu” (a.k.a. check out women), but me? No, I caught myself checking out, and possibly lusting after, other families’ strollers and baby carriers. Let me tell ya, there are some pretty sweet lookin’ strollers. I even saw a baby carrier with a back brace built in! I drooled a little on that one.
Fortunately, I have a wife that does a good job of keeping my consumerism in check. If it wasn’t for her, I’d still have maxed-out credit cards with poor credit and nothing to show for it.
Thank you for helping me grow up, My Love!
As the year draws to an end, I need to look ahead and think about what changes next year will bring. I already talked about my New Years Resolutions, so I feel like I should mention some changes I’ve been contemplating for this blog:
- Changing the theme (long overdue)
- Changing the format of my posts to that of a written letter
- Making my posts more interactive with questions for you!
In a bit of impatience on my part, I would like to immediately implement the last change on the list! So, tell me…
- Do you have any Christmas pet peeves?
- What are your New Years Resolutions?
- What’s on your wish list for Christmas this year? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, let me know what’s on your life wish list.
Still reading? Good! As an added Christmas gift from me to you, I’ve decided that I will be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to one random subscriber!
I will pick from my list of subscribers at the time of the drawing (December 24th), so don’t forget to subscribe!