This season on holiday shopping has probably been the worst I've ever seen, and it's not even past Thanksgiving yet! At one store I was at, I pulled into the parking lot and had to wait while someone waited to for another person to pull out of a space so they could park there. No big deal. However, after patiently waiting, a car, going the wrong way down the aisle zipped into the parking space before the person, who had been letting the other person out and waiting their turn, got to pull in. I go down a few more aisles and I witness the same thing. A car, going the wrong way, takes a spot someone else had been patiently waiting for. Happy holidays, Jerks. This is yet another reason I tend to park as far away as possible!
I should have realized that people were going to be grouchy just by the parking lot, but it only got worse. People in the store were just as bad. I tend to pull my cart to the side to let people get around me in an aisle when I'm grabbing something. I feel as though most people do this. On this particular day, however, people apparently didn't get the memo to be polite. People would just stop in the middle of main aisles, two wide and talk. People would leave their carts wherever they felt like so other people would have to struggle to get around them.
Then there was the general attitude. When I would say, "Excuse me", to someone to get by, they would look at me like I just killed their cat. How dare I ask them to move out of my way. They are obviously way more important than me. Now, not everyone in the store was like this. Every time I got shopping there are always a few people who are grouchy, but this was a whole new level. I thought the holiday season was supposed to bring out the good in people, but I guess I was wrong.
Over the past few years, I've noticed a decline in the holiday spirit. I've noticed people more on edge during the holiday season as opposed to being thankful and joyful as the holidays suggest. I know that in our house, things are insane during the holidays. I seems as though December is just a quick blink. Yet the craziness never gives people an excuse to be rude. We are all in a hurry. We all have things to do. When we are polite and watch out for each other, it makes the insanity of it all a little more tolerable.
So, over the next few weeks of this season, I will make it my goal to bring a little cheer into other's lives. I will continue to be polite and I will be more patient. Most importantly, I will point these things our to my children so they can learn by example.
***Updated 1/3: The weekend before Christmas, our family was in Florida shopping. People were exceptionally rude. I told my kids to watch people's reactions to when you are polite, even if they are grouchy. We started doing little things, such as not walking out in front of cars when trying to cross the parking lot. Seems simple, right? Apparently not. What my kids noticed was that cars were more willing to stop and let us cross than they were for people who didn't look and just walked. The noticed people smile at us when we said, "Thank you". At one store, the cashier was just trying to get through her day. You could tell she wanted no interaction and was just counting down the minutes until she left. I smiled, told her thank you, and Merry Christmas. She honestly looked shocked. Like I was the first person all day to say something kind. She let out a half grunt of "You, too", but it was obvious she was just stunned. We would hold the door open for someone and they would smile. These were the things my kids noticed. These were the things they pointed out and picked up on. When people around you are in a bad mood, it tends to put you in a bad mood. When people around you are polite, it tends to make you more polite. Above all, be kind.***