There's something about working in retail during the holidays that gives you an extra boost of holiday 'spirit'. Maybe it's the constant reminder with the toy purchases, all of the baking supplies that whiz by my scanner, or the fancy seasonal drinks like the Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. Consumerism at it's finest reminds me most of Christmas these days. Sure the dangling snowflakes and the Merry Christmas signs are a nice reminder of Christmas but it's the shopping, spending, and holiday buzz that really stick out to me. Joy's poem from Poel is suddenly coming back to me. Greedy, rushed shoppers with their eye on the prize: materialistic idols.
Yesterday a grandmother and her extremely crabby little grandson came through my line. He kept grabbing things out of her hands and throwing a serious fit when he wouldn't get his way. All his grandma kept saying to him was "Santa is watching you!" I couldn't help but laugh and recall how many times I, in my secular childhood, was told that very same thing. Santa, pssh. And to use santa as a form of punishment? Craziness. We should be acknowledging that God is watching our every move and not just when we're misbehaving.
Christmas isn't all bad from a retail perspective. You see glimpses of true believers scattered throughout the store. The ones who buy cards mentioning Christ. The few who will say "have a blessed day" which always puts a smile on my face. The children who truly appreciate their parents and thank them for the purchase they just made, being it so close to Christmas. The eleven or so year old boy who went through my line and just started chatting me up about his older brother that he is so proud of for being in the service. How he is going to make him a Christmas card this year and send him candy for Christmas. There are still believers out there. Still people who see Christmas as more than a day of receiving gifts but a day of celebrating Jesus, family, and friends.
Oh, Happy Thanksgiving!