Christmas Rush Brings Super Specials
By Pam Kumpe
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
(Isaiah 52:7 NIV)
Do you love Christmas? Is it a time of joy and enjoying family, or a time of stress for you?
As my December calendar fills up, I usually eat too much and spend money I don’t have. I make lists, mark things off, and run around like a chicken with its head cut off. I keep going back to the store for additional wrapping paper, tape, ingredients for cookies, a new party dress, or just one more gift.
To make things worse, I’m faced with an onslaught of congested roads and long lines. The slow drivers consistently pull in front of me, and when I show kindness by allowing a merging car onto the road, another ten people think they can pull out too!
Last year, I started my holiday shopping early by getting up at dawn the day after Thanksgiving. A department store, one I love to buy clothes at, had advertised a great sale. So my sister and I headed out there. The checkout lines were horrendous, but the bargains were worth the wait. Or so I thought.
After scooping up our goodies, we picked one of the long lines. My sister got out of line to shop for a purse while I held our place. When she returned, we switched places. I came back with a purse too. Our arms were full. After forty-five minutes of inching forward, we neared the register, and I saw a rack of holiday sweatshirts. I squeezed past the glares to check them out.
One woman called to me, “Is there a large up there?” I handed her a gray one with a red bell embroidered on it.
A teenage girl hollered, “I’d like a red one. Is there a medium?” I tossed her a red shirt decorated with a green tree.
I passed a green shirt to the woman in the back, one with a snowman on it. My sister got a blue one with a red stocking on the front, and so did I.
A couple in another line asked for two white shirts with wreaths.
I was beginning to think I worked as a sales clerk. I sold several shirts for the store that day. A huge discount at the checkout counter should have come my way. But of course, it didn’t.
The hustle and bustle of Christmas sometimes feels overwhelming, but when you’re stuck in line, it helps to entertain the crowd. I met many nice people that day, and even got a new purse.
If you’re dealing with stress, hit your reset button. Don’t sweat the small stuff or the long lines, because a great bargain is probably waiting for you by the register.
And try to have a good time. Fun is around the corner if you’re willing to engage with those around you. Don’t isolate yourself. Toss someone a shirt, and watch out for the Looney Tune folks who are shopping next to you. Because you might see me.
I can always use another accomplice for such outbursts. So call me when you go shopping this Christmas, and I’ll let everyone know we’re celebrating. Jesus gives us every reason to sing, to celebrate, and to shop. I’m thankful He wraps us in hope like a warm sweatshirt, and He’s the best bargain around.