I know that it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but yes, I started my Christmas shopping today. My goal this year (other than not spending too much) is to NOT go to the Mall! I spent 7 years working at the mall during the holidays and it's as much of an anti-Christmas you can experience. Pushing my way through throngs of angry shoppers after spending 30minutes to an hour trying to find a parking space just doesn't put me in a "most wonderful time of the year" mood. To wit, my mom and I decided to do a little bonding over Christmas shopping and headed out to the nearest Christmas Tree Shop.
As soon as we got close we could see crowds of people gathered at the store's entrance. There went my idea of beating the crowds! As we were walking through the parking lot a lady in her car stopped us and asked us if we had any coupons. "Uhhhh, no". Well, surprise! She wasn't asking for them, she was giving them! She gave us each a coupon for 20% off our entire purchase. We decided that we would put everything together and save the other coupon for another day this week, since we can never get everything we're looking for in just one trip. Turns out we didn't need to do that either. No less than 4 people in the store tried to give us coupons!
Sure, the store was packed and there were a couple instances of shopping cart collisions but the vibe in there was much different than I expected. Instead of muttered curses and exasperated sighs the cart bumps were met with laughter and jokes about each other's driving skills. People may have had that strained "I'm on a mission" look on their faces but there wasn't that cut-throat mentality usually associated with Christmas sales shopping. I would have to say that most of the people there were making good use of their coupons and were in a good mood! There was almost a feeling of camaraderie. We were sisters in sales!
So times are tough. People are stretching to make ends meet and not always succeeding. But maybe that means that we're looking for happiness in different places. Maybe finding a good deal on wrapping paper and a cheap set of Christmas lights goes further now than it used to. Delight in the little things, my friends. Take it wherever you can get it!